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MARG-INS Coffee, Wet Or Dry?
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There's a commercial that I love (yes, I know, that's a strong word for an advertisement) because every time I see it, it makes me laugh. It's the one where the woman is at the sink in a friend's bathroom and is marveling over the redecorating job and talking to her friend while she tries to quietly go through the items in the medicine cabinet. Of course, the shelf breaks in two and everything goes clattering down into the sink with a very large crash.

It's just funny to me, I guess, and led in a roundabout way to the topic, or one of them, anyway, for this month's column.

We have a medicine cabinet in our ladies' room here at the newspaper office and sometimes I get to wondering who - if anyone - has looked in there lately. A quick perusal of the contents (because I can't help but check things out) indicates a faded, squeezed out, used up tiny travel tube of toothpaste, a couple of assorted fragrances, some dental floss, matches, a loose toothbrush and an old film canister, among the more interesting items.

Truth be told, the dental floss is just a tad bit supernatural. It is the same container of dental floss that has been in there since I started at the paper oh so many years ago. I still use it regularly and keep waiting for it to run out but it appears as though it is a never-ending string of waxed dental floss. The label has long since peeled off, the thing is so old. But that floss just keeps on coming. The toothbrush lying in there? Not mine, don't know whose it is, won't even touch it, even though the bristles are still in good shape.

And probably the most interesting, and twisted in its own way, is the old film canister. Now, if you work here and haven't looked in it yet and don't want to be surprised ... stop reading now.

For the general audience, read on for a chuckle.

News people have been known to have an unusual sense of humor. Just a little off.

No one has ever confessed to it, but that little black film canister that used to hold the film we used in the old cameras sits on the bottom shelf, left side and is clearly labeled with the words 'Stool Sample.' It just showed up one day. I saw it in there. I tried to ignore it.

But I'm a reporter.

I have a need to know.

So I worked up the courage to pick up that tiny little film canister labeled stool sample and cautiously popped the top ... and out tumbled ... a perfectly formed, one-and-a-quarter inch tall, four-legged wooden ... stool. Guess the size qualified it as a 'sample' and not the real thing. I have my suspicions as to who might have put the stool sample in the medicine cabinet and they probably figured I would be the one to find out their little joke.

Life is full of surprises like that and I also recently learned that coffee can be served 'wet' or 'dry.' At least, apparently, in Atwater.

One of the joys of the annual high school football season is the camaraderie that develops among those that follow the team, especially on those long road trips. Parents, reporters, cheerleaders, siblings ... we're all in the same boat, heading to points far and wide (or at least the other end of the county) for our Friday night favorite.

This past week, after safely arriving at Atwater High for the game pitting Escalon vs. Buhach Colony, we had a bit of time before the varsity game and EHS fan and parent Liz Lee and I needed our caffeine to sustain us. So we hopped in her vehicle and used that little dashboard thing when we got lost in a parking lot and it directed us the 0.2 miles east to the Starbucks.

Maybe it was the fact it was still nearly 90 degrees at game time in late September, maybe the guy in the drive through just wanted to play 'fool the customer,' but when Liz ordered my cappuccino, the guy actually said, "do you want that wet or dry?"

We looked at each other and sort of chuckled, sort of wondered what the guy was doing. Isn't coffee - a beverage, mind you - always served 'wet?'

Apparently not. There is a dry coffee, something about more foam and less milk, I don't know, it had been a long day and it was all starting to blur. All I knew was I wanted my coffee wet because I intended to drink it, not chew it.

But if I thought that was bad, Liz - who I know now is a professional coffee orderer - had it down pat, right down to the two pumps of syrup, the cinnamon dolce sprinkles and the specifically requested 200-degree temperature.

As we wheeled around to the pick-up window, he delivered our order and told Liz, "as you must know, I have to tell you the beverage you are about to receive is extremely hot."

Okay, okay, but is it wet?

The high school football season is really just beginning ... there will probably be more adventures to share in the weeks to come.

And yes, wet coffee beats dry coffee any day of the week ...

Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times and The Oakdale Leader and assistant editor for The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.