And There Shall be Enjoyment

I have to travel a lot more these days (which is usually fun) which also means occasionally sitting and waiting for hours on end (not as much fun). But no matter where I am, there is one phrase that always brings a little joy to my day:

“Careful. The beverage you’re about to enjoy is extremely hot”

You know it. You’ve seen it on countless disposable coffee cups and the like. Perhaps it makes you think of that seminal case of McDonald’s coffee gone wrong. Perhaps you’ve wondered, “Should I have my own travel mug?” Well, it’s a good thing you don’t, because then you’d be depriving the company, be it soulless mega-corporation or mom-and-pop cafe, of a guarantee they are providing at no extra charge:

You are about to enjoy this beverage.

In fact, the purveyors of–whatever this beverage might be–are so certain of this guarantee that they pre-printed it on not one, not some, but every cup they dispense. And they made sure that tea, chai, or boiling marmalade juice were not excluded from the beverages you are sure to enjoy. If it comes in this cup, you will enjoy it. Case closed.

Oh sure, those of you with pesky things such as “questions” or “doubts” will certainly not be satisfied. Why not have a series of stickers stating the enjoyment quotient that are applied only after the staff member has determined this beverage is sufficiently delightful? Why not have a quality-assurance program where you will be lovingly accosted when you are mid-way or completely finished with the beverage to ensure your enjoyment was both total and genuine?

Inefficient. Expensive. One might even say counter-revolutionary. What are you, an anarchist? Enjoy your delicious beverage and be happy you live in such a world of such unqualified guarantees.

You might also quibble about their additional guarantee that the soon-to-be enjoyed beverage will be extremely hot. The malcontents of the world will likely complain at the vagueness of “extremely.” How hot is that in Celsius? Fahrenheit? Kelvin? Is there a range? What if the beverage is just “remarkably hot?” What if it goes too far by being “astonishingly hot?”

Balderdash. You know what it will be. It will be extremely hot. You–a man, woman, or transgender of the world–know what that means. You will wait just the right moment before sipping, whereupon you will enjoy that beverage. It’s your job and you will do it with the requisite amount of confidence and pride.

After all, the company that just sold you this beverage can’t do it. It’s all up to you. Why, you can almost hear the wistful envy in the phrase:

“Careful. The beverage you’re about to enjoy is extremely hot”

They wish they could join you in this moment. But the best they can do is guarantee that wherever you are, whatever path led you to this point in time, now, maybe just for now, you will have enjoyment.

And what’s not to like about that?


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