Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll returns this morning as SCIENCE GRRRLL:

I know that I absolutely should not drink coffee after mid-afternoon. It will interfere mightily with my sleep. But I love coffee, and also sometimes my energy flags in “mid-afternoon,” which I believe is an imprecise time frame that stretches until 8:00 p.m. Similarly, I believe that “late, late middle age” covers the years from the mid-50s to 5 years from wherever I’m currently at.

My problem has always been that I’m not convinced that the Coffee Rule has been adequately proven. Being devoted to Science as I am, I think the experiment needs to be run many more times.

If you doubt my massive Science credentials, I hasten to inform you that in addition to high school Biology, I fulfilled my college science requirement by taking a course called Physical Geography. Sadly, the course was given at 8:00 a.m. I often signed up for courses at that hour. Because, once you slept through them, you could sail guilt-free through the rest of the day. You didn’t need to waste valuable psychic energy dithering about whether or not you were going to continue to play poker in the student union or actually go to the class. The class was over. Shut up and deal! Jacks or better to open and 4’s and 9’s are wild.

It also represented another kind of experiment. Can you skip many many weeks of Physical Geography lectures and labs and still get a decent grade? Define “decent.” I received my first-ever “C” in Physical Geography and that was a gift. It was mostly due to the fact that an engineering-major suitor at the time worked for dozens of hours on a comprehensive map which represented a large portion of my grade. He/We got an “A” on it which raised my grade from an impending “F” to that coveted “C.”

It would be hard to get more Science-y than that. In essence, if you want to get all technical and judgmental, I cheated. Which would position me nicely for a career as a global warming scientist, where the dog is constantly eating their irreproducible data and they need to “hide the decline.” But only for 18 years so far. Babies were born and graduated high school, and STILL no evidence of warming. That’s some settled science going on right there, Boy Howdy!

But back to my current ongoing science experiment: Never mind the fact that of the 2,384 times I have run the Coffee Rule Experiment thus far, I have always had trouble sleeping if I drink coffee after 4:00 p.m. What about the 2,385th time? The results could change. That’s how important I think Science is. And the sacrifices I am willing to make in its Holy Name.

The Coffee Experiment is not my only scientific endeavor. Far from it. I also have learned that if I don’t make a grocery list, the odds of my coming home with what I set out to purchase go down substantially. But, again, given the many exhausting seconds it takes to make a list, has its utility been adequately proven? And who doesn’t enjoy returning to the store – looking for a different checkout lady as far as possible from the last one – to get THE most important ingredient for the casserole you are making? The one item you went to the store to get in the first place.

So what if I didn’t remember Cream of Chicken Soup? We are now the proud owners of five pounds of pistachios AND a bag of Double-Stuf Oreos. Though neither item is going to work in that casserole, they were on sale. What could go wrong with expired Oreos anyway?

I have heard it said of very smart people: “He has forgotten more things than I’ll ever know.” If forgetting things is the Gold Standard of intelligence, I must have at one time been right up there with Mr. Hawking. (My book proposal: A Brief History of Time-Wasting.)

Which brings us to the Second Martini Experiment. After one delicious Cantaloupe Martini, a specialty of my favorite local Italian restaurant, I can follow a conversation, possibly contribute the occasional witty or erudite remark, and even compute a proper tip. After two martinis, I like to take a short nap in my entree (ravioli is most comfortable) and I am quite certain that $50.00 is 20% of $80.00. The happy waitress has alerted other servers via her Facebook Page that it will be worth it to come in on their day off to be my server. “Bring her lots of butter and a free second martini! You’ll thank me.”

It’s hard for me to comprehend that at one time in New York City, the “3 martini lunch” was quite common for bidnessmen. Yikes! And they allegedly went back to work afterwards!

You just never know. Some day that Second Martini Experiment may work out just fine for me if I keep running it. It’s Science. Barring a merciful coma, I’m going to need at least two martinis a day to get through the next fifteen months.


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