Monday, May 15, 2006

Coffee and the airport

I recently had the good fortune to be able to attend a design conference in Seattle. In Seattle, I found out, they have at least one and sometimes two coffee shops per block. My dream city!

Before deplaning in Seattle, however, I had to catch a wee-morning flight in Peoria. Thank goodness I don't live that far from the airport, as I think I was half asleep driving there.

As I approached the security gate, I noticed, off to the side, a coffee vending machine. For the mere price of one dollar, you could get a paper cup full of scalding hot coffee. I pushed aside other passengers, I think, to get to it.

After several attempts, I found in my bag a dollar bill the machine would accept. I selected the super strong dark brew option. The paper cup dropped and began to fill. A recorded voice motioned me to the security area. I had my carry-on, my coat, my shoes, and my paper cup of coffee. Take any of the above, but not the coffee, I thought.

Hoping not to splash boiling coffee on a TSA agent, I continued to balance the hot paper cup, as I removed my coat and backpack and sent them through the conveyor for inspection.

As I entered the secure terminal, a savvy Bradley student, who evidently travels often, put her dollar into a machine and drew a cup of hot Maxwell House. "Oh, I wish I would have known this was here," I told her.

"I had to keep reminding myself," she said, "that I could wait. It was hard."

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