I am actually addicted to caffeine. I tried giving it up a few years back. I only really drink it in the mornings (well okay, till four in the afternoon), and decided that on a long journey with Harvardboy to recover his stuff from a break up with Kinky, that I'd try going cold turkey. I was stood in Harvardboy's bathroom, ten minutes after waking, trying to sort my head out for a five hour drive, enduring a banging headache from the caffeine withdrawal, and staring in the mirror, thinking "ifheasksifyouwantacoffeesaynoifheasksifyouwantacoffeesaynoifheasksifyouwantacoffeesayno".
Harvardboy called through the door: "coffee?"
Five minutes. During which I gripped a sink till my knuckles bleached white and talked to myself in the mirror like a loon. That's as much withdrawal from caffeine as I've ever been able to take.
I've learnt not to drink real coffee at work, though, as I go into irrational rages and end up getting official cautions for my irascible and imflammatory attitude. If I'm in a bad mood anyway, coffee exaggerates all of the things in the world that disappoint or annoy me. When you have PMT, it's annoyance at yourself that sends you into rages, essentially. Pure coffee created rage is totally externalised.
A bad morning recently, (another where I woke up at three) resulted in my actually writing angry emails to the newsreader on my local radio station. He'd twice in an hour taken the piss out of Tom Cruise, by wondering loudly what on earth a 'haiku' is. I fired off my best Victor Meldrew rage encrusted sarcasm, pointing out that most eleven year olds know the meaning of the word, and demanding that they only use words in their bulletins that they knew the meaning of.
Presumable they do know the meaning of 'ridiculously overinflated sense of own importance'. It's merely I who had to wait for the coffee rage to stop kicking to realise it.
They did drop the pisstake from the next bulletin, but every day since then, the DJ interrogates the poor newsreader as to the meaning of a word in his bulletin. So all of London gets ribbed because I'd drunk my coffee too quickly.
Two of my favourite bloggers, Friendly Stranger and Lactose Incompetent, have been blogging about caffeine addictions lately. The Rev at Friendly Stranger suggests having mediocre coffee that's not so strong for weekdays, and rich, full, gorgeous coffee beans ready for the weekend. Boy, do I like that suggestion. Although I'm not sure I'm that organised.
Whereas Edward Ocean at Lactose Incompetent is giving up caffeine. Merely the idea of someone else doing it is enough to give me the willies, metaphorically speaking. He says caffeine contributes to depression and makes you fat. I sure had never heard of that before. I can imagine that, like any stimulant, sugar included, there's a come down from an easily bought high. But fat? Is it the rich tea biscuits?