Comfortable and Furious

The Misunderstood: The Customer In Clerks Who Wants Ice For His Coffee

Look, man, a lot of places sell coffee that is way too hot to drink. I do not know why they do it. Maybe so people can take it to work and it will still be hot when they get there. People who are goddamned astronauts.

If you want to drink coffee from such a vendor immediately, you either put some ice in it or you drink it without ice and melt your teeth and die when the enamel re-hardens in the comparative coolness of your stomach acid and pierces your gut.

I think maybe people who put a lot of cream and sugar in their coffee factor in here because, I assume that those things make coffee cooler, since they are not hot. (Of course, I wouldn’t know from experience.)

But we can hardly judge the customer harshly for not using cream and sugar, as one of the surest indications of good character is that someone drinks black coffee. Like Marcus Aurelius, Buddha or Lao Tsu, the black coffee drinker is interested in experiencing things as they are, rather than reshaping the world and his experiences to accommodate his womanly weakness. So drinking his coffee black cannot be a point against this patron.

Dante, on the other hand, seems like a cream and sugar guy. And the bulk of evidence suggests Kevin Smith is one too.

Potential objection: If the black coffee drinker wants to experience things as they are, why not drink the coffee at lethal temperatures?

I argue that, while that might be the temperature at which coffee is brewed, it does not follow that it must be served, let alone consumed, at that temperature. Are we to eat french fries by pulling them directly from the deep fryer and popping the into our mouths?

On the contrary, we want to actually taste these things, rather than merely experience pain when we put them in our mouths. Tasting them is one of our main purposes in consuming them.

Even if the customer wanted his coffee COLD, I think he would be in bounds. Iced coffee still tastes like coffee. It is just cold. Certainly we can all agree that hot pizza is good and cold pizza is good, while pizza with ranch dressing on it is an abomination against the universe. Why should this principle change with respect to coffee?

And what kind of a convenience store does not have ice on hand? It is awfully convenient to deflect blame onto an innocent, coffee loving customer. What if he wanted some iced tea? Would his request still be unreasonable?

Obviously, the answer is “no”. So present me with an argument that the store is at fault for being out of ice only if the customer orders particular items. Clearly, any such argument would be absurd. So, if it is not contingent upon why the customer wants the ice, either the expectation that a convenience store has ice is reasonable or it is not. Given that, I think we would agree it is reasonable to expect a convenience store to have ice. And if this is the case, the customer has a legitimate grievance. So even the underlying argument against the ice wanting customer is invalid.

Also, Navy Seals is a fine film.