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By ROBERT VILLANUEVA
email@example.com They’ll come after me soon; I know it. It is only a matter of time. Some people are beginning to say mine is not a particularly healthy habit. But who would have thought it would come to this?
I can remember when indulging in this so-called vice was acceptable, made you “cool” and “sophisticated.” Advertisers flooded the media with campaigns aimed at telling consumers that their product was relaxing, soothing and, yes, sexy.
I’ve never been particularly prone to advertising gimmicks. Either I like something or I don’t.
I’ve never owned a pet rock, a mood ring or a virtual pet. I’ve never bought an electronic ab stimulator or spray-on hair. Okay, so that Rubik’s Cube in my closet might have been a mistake. But I made that choice on my own, not under the influence of hype or peer pressure.
Now things seem to changing when it comes to my vice. Instead of being cool and sophisticated, my habit now carries a stigma of sorts.
It’s not healthy for me, they’ve started saying. It’s addictive, I’ve heard them say. But, hey, the same addiction thing applies to me and fishing. Get me near a puddle of water and my hands start twitching like a fishing rod line dipped in an overstocked bass pond.
Often I crave a fix first thing in the morning. Oh, yeah, I know that’s a sure sign that I’m on a dangerous road.
But it doesn’t stop with the morning fix. I don’t really care what time of day it is. If the urge hits me, I indulge.
Sometimes I take one after another, like a true junkie. Often I risk exposing my vice in public, ignoring the health nuts and politically correct who shoot glances and scowls at me, like I’m Quasimodo applying for a male modeling position.
I don’t really care. Sure, I know advertisers have targeted minors and even children with the product. And I see kids almost every day who partake.
But maybe I’m too close to this thing. Maybe I’m too paranoid.
After all, caffeine isn’t illegal yet.
It’s still available to all, in the form of soda, tea and — my personal favorite — coffee. I shouldn’t feel threatened or ashamed. I should display my Folger’s Gourmet Supreme coffee container with pride.
And, really, when it comes down to it, I’m a social coffee drinker. Yeah, that’s it.
I might drink three, four cups at a time, but I can stop any time I want to, see?
I don’t have a java monkey on my back, see?
But maybe like other things that are reputedly bad for you, my vice will eventually be regulated. And people like me will be shunned in public.
Perhaps I should get used to the idea of imbibing my caffeine in my own home. And when it comes down to it, I can hold secret meetings at my house, like it’s a 1920s speakeasy where people can come and smoke cigarettes and drink non-regulated caffeine.
I hear there are others like me.
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.