Saturday, July 16, 2005

12 Step Program Out The Door

I have an addiction. I am addicted to coffee. Some would say caffeine, but in my case it is really coffee. I must have several large cups every day. I can't sleep in, because I will wake up with a withdrawal headache. The first step in such a case is admitting you have the problem. And I want to be clear -- my program is only one step. Pass the java.

In Provo, Utah, were Mormons rule and coffee is taboo, there is a new coffee shop in town. Well, not exactly. It doesn't serve coffee, or anything with the loving nectar that is caffeine.
Johnson, a 22-year-old English major at Brigham Young University, started Vermillion Skies to give Mormon students - who don't drink coffee or alcohol - a place to hang out and experience pop culture without going against their religious beliefs.

"It's not about seeing how close to the line you can get without crossing it," says the Arizona native. "It's more about how much you can enjoy without compromising." The drinks are only part of the lure.

What was once a Pentecostal church at 236 N. University Ave. is now the locale for Bad Poetry nights (every Wednesday), live local-band concerts (Friday and Saturday), Pirate Nights, Cranky Hour (from 5 to 6 p.m.) and harmless late-night lounging.
In other words, it is boring as hell and you have to listen to bad college poetry without the benefit of a buzz of any kind? No thanks! I could handle that with a scotch, or a double espresso, but not a decaff mint tea.

But I give the student credit for knowing his audience and filling a need.


At 9:39 AM, Blogger spd rdr said...

Life without coffee is unthinkable. I drink a full pot every morning. But I have nearly completely weaned myself from the caffeine part of it. (I am quiet fired-up enough in my natural state.) It's good to note, however, that these Mormon kids finally have a place to hang out. It keeps them out of street gangs.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger spd rdr said...

I am not yet finished the morning pot, hence "quite" became "quiet."

At 2:02 PM, Blogger KJ said...

I know what you are saying. Atlanta has been fighting its Mormon street gang problem for about 5 years. We found that midnight pottery painting programs worked quite well.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

Good one!
Now if we could just lick the marauding Girl Scout problem, it would be safe to walk the streets again.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

I was going to pick a bone with your program for being too rigorous, then I got distracted by your end note, "But I give the student credit for knowing [her] audience and filling a need."

She may make it, but if she does, the dark master that is Starbucks will waltz in and put her out of business, by hook or by crook. But that's if she makes it, and I will be pleasantly surprised in future to hear that this mission hasn't either folded or retreated into its student-fed niche of September - May. We may come to find that continued success is predicated on a java-jacked speakeasy operating in the back room.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

Interesting use of the term "speakeasy," teebee. Helluva twist, there: Classic American Puritanism v. modern Mormonism…*hic*. KJ, I am sure, will fill us in on the details.

I hope somebody covers the field before it rains.

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Dr. Harden Stuhl said...

I always worried that the East 13th street Jehovah Witnesse's would merge with the Westside Mormons. The thought of non coffee drinkers continually knocking on my front door to tell me the world is ending is very unsettling.

PS. Where is my Cheese?

At 9:58 PM, Blogger KJ said...

Man I am loving this thread.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

"I hope somebody covers the field before it rains."

Is this a Woodstock reference? Don't tease a girl who should be writing about the terrible drought in her new home state. We were without water last Sunday because the well ran dry - we were filling our pool (too fast for the water table, apparently).

Is the Westside/East 13th consolidation thinking of throwing a version of the festival that's "not about seeing how close to the line you can get without crossing it"? Maybe I'm just completely in the gutter on this one, but I'm pretty sure the only reason this little fiasco called "Three Days of Peace & Music" was in the papers was because of all the nude, muddy druggies. And Country Joe's rendition of the Fish Cheer.

But if it keeps them off the streets and up on Yasger's farm...

At 1:25 PM, Blogger KJ said...

Filling a pool in Wisconsin? The six week warm season must be upon you.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

I turned 115 trying to hitchhike my way up to Woodstack from Long Island. Never made it and damend near walked all the way home.

Now if there had been psuedo-coffee shops to hang around when I was kid, I'd probably would have made it there.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

Boy am I old.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

I hear as you get older, things seem to speed up. Like the reading thing, maybe. But not the hitch-walking thing. So I guess I won't mention the Woodstock8 thing.

Just remember, KJ, wetsuits are for wussies, and if you can't harvest a couple hundred acres in 100% humidity, you don't deserve to live in our little slice of heaven.


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