One day last week, there were five wise men in deep conversation at Common Grounds, the local coffeehouse. Eavesdropping seemed like a good idea, but being wise men, they had eyes in the backs and sides of their heads so were on to me in a second. Five sets of suspicious eyes looked at me. Here’s the thing. I know these guys. Some people (specifically, my dad and their wives) might call them “a bunch of wise guys”.
See, a couple of these guys used to hang out with my dad in what was generally known as the “coffee break” room in Shoker Science Center at then-Bluffton College, where they taught. When I was in college and needed to track down Dad and couldn’t locate him in his office or the lab, I just followed the scent of coffee. He was usually there with a couple other wise men, discussing life over their own special blend. Of coffee, that is.
As the daughter of a very wise man, I had no choice but to make some comment about what questions these five wise men might be answering on that particular day. They, of course, objected vehemently to the suggestion that they might be wise and claimed to have lots of questions but no answers….yet. Then again, they refused to venture any answers in the off chance that their conversation might show up on some public forum. Hmmm…why would they think that?
Yesterday, while attending an open house at the recently renovated home of one of these wise men, I happened onto a conversation between him and one of his former colleagues — both of whom were regulars in the aforementioned “coffee break” room. One of them was just finishing up some pastries and a cup of…you guessed it…coffee. He grinned and said to the other, “You remember that we (read: science profs) decided one day that caffeine eliminated calories.” Then he looked at me and said “…and your dad was thin.”
This is true. He was thin and drank lots of coffee. Of course, he also got lots of exercise so one might make the argument that it was the exercise — not the caffeine — that eliminated the calories. Still, I can see my dad grinning at the caffeine connection. It was a hypothesis he no doubt tried to prove more than once.
All I can say is if you happen upon five wise men in Common Grounds, walk slowly and listen carefully.