The Postscript: Decaf coffee is like drinking no coffee

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Carrie Classon' postscript, the orange leader

The Postscript:
By Carrie Classon

Peter was up before anyone else—as he often is. 

My husband, Peter, gets up early in order to have enough time to brood before busybodies like me expect him to engage in cheerful conversation. But this morning we were staying at my parents’ cabin and there was a glitch in the plans. The coffee jar was empty. 

Obviously, a person can’t brood without coffee. Peter quietly opened one cupboard after another. No coffee. My parents are great planners so there was no chance they were out of coffee, but where they might be keeping it—that was another issue. 

Peter stealthily crept around the kitchen opening one cupboard after another until finally, far in the back of an upper cupboard, Peter found a bag of coffee.

“Bingo!” Peter said (silently, of course.)

Peter put coffee in the coffeemaker, pressed the “start” button and only then did he take a good look at the bag. 

“DECAF” it read. “Oh no!” Peter thought. The coffee was already brewing, my parents would be up any moment. 

There are a number of things a person might have said at this moment. 

Peter stashed the coffee bag back in the upper cupboard and didn’t say a word when Mom and Dad got up. (I was still in bed, so I am still telling you this story based on Peter’s sketchy details and 50-plus years knowledge of my family.)

“Oh! We’re out of coffee!” my mom would have thought or said and refilled the jar (probably from the bag she keeps in the freezer, a place Peter would not have thought to check.) Peter and I were traveling that day so, after Mom refills the jar, she decides we would probably like some coffee for our trip and fills a thermos with the coffee Peter has made, then starts another for them to drink. This is a crucial point. 

Peter, my mother, and father all have a couple of cups of the new coffee and, at some point, I get up. Peter and I head out the door with our luggage and the thermos for the day’s drive. It is at this point that I have my first cup of coffee. Then I have a second. 

“Boy,” I comment to Peter, “I’m really sleepy today.” I have a third cup of coffee. 

At midmorning, I start to develop a headache. I take an ibuprofen. “I wonder if I’m coming down with something,” I mention to Peter. I have another cup of coffee. 

We finally arrive at our destination. 

“I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I’m just so sluggish and I’ve got this headache I can’t shake—and it’s not for lack of coffee,” I tell Peter, “I drank most of that thermos!”

There are a number of things a person might have said at this moment. Peter said, “Maybe you should take a nap!” So, I did. 

Later that evening, I got up. I heard Peter, alone in the kitchen, laughing. 

“Did you like the coffee?” he asked.

“What coffee?” 

“The coffee you had this morning.”

“It was fine.”

“It was decaf.” 

“The whole thermos was DECAF?!”


“You let me drink the whole thing and never said a word?”

“I forgot.”

“When I said I had a headache?”

“I forgot.”

“When I said I couldn’t understand why I was so tired since I’d drunk AN ENTIRE POT OF COFFEE?!”

“I forgot.”

I looked at Peter, incredulous. 

There are a number of things a person might have said at this moment. I decided not to say anything at all. 

Till next time, 


Carrie Classon’s memoir, “Blue Yarn,” was released earlier this year. Learn more at