Technological Dependence


The Keurig was giving me trouble this morning.  It has been kind of loud and grumbly for a while now, which I attributed to using tap water. I was too lazy to prime a new water filter for the pitcher we use for coffee supply. We have pretty hard water, so the minerals were likely building up inside my beloved machine.

I ran a whole tank of vinegar through it last night–a process which makes for very hot vinegar. It seems wasteful to simply dump it, so I put baking soda down the kitchen drains before pouring out the vinegar, and they got a nice, hot, fizzy bath.

There was a mysterious fog hanging in the one of the sinks for a while, which was weird.  I’ve never heard of anything bad coming from baking soda and vinegar. On the contrary, it is an oft recommended green cleaning technique. Maybe it was the heat, which I doubted made the process more effective, but who knows. It’s also hard to say what horrible residue lived in those drains and may have caused the fog.

Even though I’ve seen some nasty things while working in the wound center, and I can eat while viewing or talking about disgusting and/or horrible things, drain gunk grosses me out.  Necrotic butt wound? No problem. Hair and grease from a drain? Gag. Not being able to eat is my personal measuring stick for gross tolerance.

Anyway, that went way off track. Back to Keurig, one of my top most-loved devices.

Brewing coffee is one of the first things I do every morning. I am a junkie. Not having coffee is sure to make me highly crabby and give me a ferocious headache. I need it.

Along with my caffeine addiction, I simply love coffee. If I ever had to give up caffeine, I would still drink decaf. It’s not as good (that’s probably my addiction talking), but it’s better than nothing. This is my long way of saying I depend on Keurig. Without it, I’m making a cup of Via, which is Starbucks’ version of better-than-average instant coffee but is still instant coffee.

After the extensive cleaning process of the night before, one would expect Keurig to work perfectly. I ran a full tank of vinegar through it and at least two tanks of water without an inkling of a problem. This morning, it sucked the water in and then sat there, making a low, almost obstinate hum. Was it going to give up on life now? No, Keurig, no!Keurig

I lifted the brewing handle, pulled the k-cup out, brushed all the granules away, and closed it.

Still nothing.

I turned it off and back on. Keurig forgot what it was doing, and I pushed the button, telling it to brew again. It sucked in more water. Sucking wasn’t the problem. It was doing a grand job of sucking! It would not send the water back out and into my waiting mug. It only sat there, making its “I’m trying,” hum.

Next, I gave it a good whack, not because I thought it was being bad (OK, maybe I suspected it a little), but because I thought maybe a large chunk or two of mineral deposit broke off and clogged something up, like the Keurig equivalent of a kidney stone. Keurig did not object to being slapped but also didn’t do anything but continue to hum.

I tilted the machine and let it clunk back to the counter a couple of times.  It hummed.

I turned it off again and said a little prayer. Because God loves Keurigs. And coffee. I waited with the power off for at least a minute, so Keurig would be fooled into thinking it woke up for the first time today. I pressed the switch, and that large blue screen blinked on again and told me, “I’m only going to brew travel size now.” I tried to change it. It said, “I told you… travel size.”  OK, then.

After pretending to put a k-cup in, because even though the pretty blue screen says it’s “Ready to brew,” it’s not actually ready until it thinks you put a k-cup in, I pressed the Brew button.

Keurig did not suck this time. Water, anyway. It apparently had a travel-size mug’s worth already in its belly. This time the Keurig simply hummed. I cursed my bad night’s sleep and applauded the Via purchase I made just last week. I planned a stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way to work.

Then Keurig gurgled a bit. Then it spit. Then a travel-size mug worth of water and a few coffee grounds poured into my cup. I poured that down the sparkly clean drain and put the cup back in place. An actual k-cup went in this time, and I pressed Brew again.

Keurig sucked in water. It hummed. It paused.

The pause was much longer than usual — long enough that a string of curse words ran through my brain.

And then there was coffee.  And the Lord was pleased. Well, at least I was.

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