Coffee problems

Once you leave the Upper Midwest, the attitude towards coffee becomes annoyingly cavalier. At a gas station in western Nebraska, for example, I stopped for a cup of coffee at 1 pm. I needed the boost to stay awake. I asked the clerk if they had coffee, since it was a well-stocked convenience store. "Well, ah don't have any made," she said, strongly hinting that she would rather not.

Several other gas stations had no coffee at all, or else some brackish stuff clearly left over from morning. At the restaurants in New Mexico, the drink of choice seemed to be iced tea, even when it was near freezing outside. I found myself in a state of near-panic. Don't these people understand the importance of coffee, particularly to a Minnesotan?