Very slowly, Herb Collins stood with his cup of coffee there in the
midst of culture and education at the Mule Barn truck stop.
"Actually, Steve," Herb said, in his most professorial tone, "his
name was Kaldi. He lived in Ethiopia."
And here Herb grinned fiendlishly at Steve. "And he was a
"No way, Herb!"
"The truth, cowboy, nothing but the truth. In fact, it wasn't so
much as Kaldi doing anything, it was his sheep. You see..." (and he
turned to face the tables and booths to find he held a rapt
audience) "... ol' Kaldi had noticed his sheep munching these red
berries and going kinda hyper all over the place, looking for a lion
to whip or something. Well, Kaldi knew that hyper sheep were too
busy running around eating the plants flat to the ground to be
putting on any mutton, so he decided to investigate. He chewed some
of these berries himself and beat the sheep back to the ol' Mutton
Mansion. He made a couple of laps around the house and said, 'Man, I
just can't live without my coffee!'
"Now that was about 1000 A.D., you know. The word got out, and
people started up their drip machines, and morning stopped being
such a dirty word.
[to top of second
"Of course, as with anything good, there are always party poopers
who want it stopped. And so it came to pass with coffee. Six hundred
years after Kaldi's sheep, a bunch of Christians (obviously on
decaf) petitioned Pope Clement VIII to ban coffee, believing
anything that made mornings pleasant must be the devil's drink.
"Being a fair-minded guy, the pope didn't want to do that without
giving it a try first, so he had some cardinal whip up a batch and
he sucked it down. Well, he gave the drink his blessing, said it was
an official Christian beverage, had a mug made with 'Clem' on it and
hung it over the sink.
"Here's to coffee!" Herb said to the audience, "The choice of
Where does he get these things?
[Text from file received from Slim Randles]
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