Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Double Shot of Disaster

This was originally posted a year ago on my now defunct Wordpress. I was over there deleting my former blog when I realized a few of my posts were really pretty funny. Here is one about a fateful morning at the end of last November.

I was up early to take a friend to the airport. When I got home it was 6:45 that is earlier than I normally would be awake, alert and dressed. But alert and dressed I was. Well whether I was alert, is to be decided. I chose to be productive. My plan was to do yoga, make espresso, have a healthy breakfast, walk the dog, shower and be on time for work. That sounds uneventful, I know. Really it was supposed to be uneventful, it was Tuesday morning. 

At first my plan was going well. Plans are deceitful that way. I love doing yoga in the morning. My mind is cleared, my body is energized and I feel wonderful. By 7:02 the espresso was on the stove and I was just moving from downward dog into some abdominal stretches. I had enough time to think, “This is nice, isn’t it?” when it happened. There was a sound like rapid fire. A steamy, sputtering, dangerous sound. My first thought was that the espresso was ready but it was too soon and far, far too loud for simple percolation.

My dog was in the dining room. From where I stood I saw him glance at the kitchen warily and then run away with his tail between his legs.

I entered the kitchen and first I only saw the stove, covered in coffee. My first thought was that the espresso overflowed and the sound I heard was the excess espresso burning on the gas flame. I was wrong.

My second thought was that I failed to properly tighten the espresso percolator and that some leaked out of the sides and into the flame. This turned out to also be not only wrong, but a gross underestimation of the catastrophe. Once I allowed myself to take stock of the whole kitchen, I realized something. I should not be allowed to make espresso. But we will get back to that.

It turned out that I forgot an important piece of the espresso maker. The piece which would have prevented the catastrophe from happening is a small round filter. It holds down the coffee grinds when the water and steam are forced up through the espresso. Without the filter, the grinds had free range to be literally blown out of the sides and top of the espresso maker.

It was as if an espresso bomb went off in the kitchen. Please note: I am not exaggerating. Several tablespoons of espresso were now stuck to my walls. Also, several tablespoons of coffee will make a gargantuan mess.

I felt like a member of CSI examining the scene. “Based on the grind splatter here and here, I would say that the majority, 80-90 percent, of the coffee came out through the sides of the machine in question. Somebody really had it in for that kitchen.”

Rather than spending my morning focusing on my breathing and tightening my abs which would be beneficial in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the two most fattening holidays, I spent it scrubbing chunks of espresso from the white walls, cabinets, stove, floor, refrigerator, blender, oh and the half-dozen boxes of Christmas decorations that I was going to take to storage after work.

I also spent that time contemplating the health and safety benefits of herbal tea. Most of Britain survives on tea. I wondered if I could make the switch. Unfortunately, I am a hopeless case. Even as I loathed the mess on my walls and my utter lack of ability to make coffee I still loved the smell of the grinds and I knew I’d never be able to give them up.

 Please note (again): I know I have a tendency to exaggerate and that is why these pictures are so important. I am in no way exaggerating. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get the walls, fridge, table, floor, and stove clean. Under the microwave still needs more attention as does the top of the fridge. I knew if I came home from work and saw coffee on the wall I would have a fit. It was very overwhelming. Everywhere I turned there were more grinds in more places. However, I began cleaning one section at a time and soon it wasn’t as hopeless. Soon it began to look like a kitchen again.
I had to clean coffee splatter from espresso cups, coffee containers and a large framed poster for what? Why, espresso, of course! This is hilarious, I haven't laughed yet, but I am sure I will. The situation is still too close. It hasn’t yet made the leap from stressful ridiculousness to pure comedy. But I guess that’s partially because I didn’t get to have my coffee this morning.


  1. That is funny Monica. I can't imagine having to clean that up. Crazy!

  2. It took a long time to clean. Haha, a long time and a 4 pack of Magic Erasers.