Decaf: (n) decaffeinated coffee or tea.

Having had a showdown with caffeine in my early years, when taking too much No-Doze in an attempt to stay awake, I have been reluctant to drink regular coffee.

Actually, it’s much sillier than that.

I don’t like coffee at all.

But I will occasionally hold a cup in my hand when I’m forced to be with grown-ups so that I can appear to be one of them.

When I do that, I request decaf.

No matter now long I live on this Earth, it will continue to astound me how there are some people who can take the simplest, little piece of information and turn it into a full diatribe, discussing their superiority and my inadequacy.

It never fails.

If I’m at a party and request decaf, there’s always someone—who has been practicing blowing hard—who explains to me that I am drinking “kid stuff,” “brown water” or “the nursing home special.”

They go on to explain that they only drink “the real stuff,” with just as much caffeine as it possibly can hold and still remain liquid.

I stay quiet, admitting my frailty and conceding that this may eliminate me from ever being considered studly.

I don’t know why we human beings turn everything into a competition.

I am not an expert on coffee in the first place.

So truthfully, I’m not in the mood to discuss brews, roasts and grinding.

But if you are, I wish you God speed.

God speed away from me.



by J. R. Practix

Acetaminophen: (n.) an analgesic drug used to treat headaches, arthritis, etc., and also to reduce fever, often as an alternative to aspirin. Proprietary names include Tylenol.

You’re not supposed to use a lot of aspirin. I didn’t know that. It makes your stomach bleed. Perhaps it’s an old wives’ tale, but they say that every aspirin causes your stomach to secrete one teaspoon of blood. Makes you wonder how many old wives died of blood seepage.

I learned this the hard way–not about old wives, but about aspirin.

I took three young men into my life who were in the middle of a custody battle with their abusive biological father. On one of his visitation weekends, he snatched the young men and hid them out like they were pretending to be the Hole in the Wall Gang.

I was distressed. I couldn’t sleep. The lack of sleep made me ache all over as I actively pursued finding my new young friends. I began to eat aspirin like they were popping out of a Pez dispenser.

About two weeks later, I was walking from my bathroom to my bedroom when the surroundings began to shake and shimmer like I was in an earthquake. I barely made it to my bed, to grab my mattress, before I fell to the ground.

Well, long story short, it turned out I had one of those stomach bleeds due to overuse of aspirin. It was not a sickness unto death–just one brought on by stupidity.

But since then, I have had to write on medical forms that I am allergic to aspirin, although I probably am not. Mostly, I discovered that I was allergic to stupidity.

Since then I have been taking acetaminophen for pain, weariness and aches. Honestly, I’m not so sure the product works as well as aspirin. I would refer to it as “aspirin light.” Or decaffeinated aspirin.

But it does help a little, and honestly, I was not particularly fond of my tummy bleed. So I will continue to take that product, even though, amazingly enough, it turns my poop green.

I do realize that at this point, that I have shared too much information. But if you don’t put personal notes into a blog every once in a while, it becomes stale and pedantic.

So hoping that you remember more about acetaminophen than my poop, I will close for now.