FWP: [pouring his third cup of the morning] Thank You, God for coffee, the chemical without which modern life would be impossible….You know, that’s one of the great mysteries of human history.
CSO: Hm? What do you mean?
FWP: Well, the coffee plant is native to South America, right?
FWP: And Europeans didn’t have it until they came to the New World, right?
FWP: So how did we go from the caves to the Industrial Revolution without coffee?
CSO: Oh, the Euros had other things to chew on.
FWP: Chew on?
CSO: [shrugs] Coca leaves, maybe?
FWP: Nope, those are South American too.
FWP: So the mystery persists!
CSO: Wait, didn’t Viking explorers come to the West before Columbus?
FWP: Yeah, eleventh and twelfth century…why?
CSO: Some of them might have brought coffee back to Europe!
FWP: I suppose it’s possible.
CSO: So without South America, we might still be living in caves!
FWP: [sips] Hm.
Yes, that conversation actually took place a few minutes ago. What do you discuss with your spouse at 4:30 AM?
UPDATE: Two persons — longtime reader Fred and our own beloved Linda Fox — have informed me that coffee is not native to South America, but was brought there from Africa!
Sheesh! Once again, Kin Hubbard’s aphorism has been demonstrated to be correct:
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.