Saturday, April 19, 2008

WORST MONTH EVER: Worst Cup of Coffee

When my son Aiden starts watching movies in a few years, he'll probably have at least one pressing question while we're watching a pre-1990 film:

"Dad, what's wrong with everybody's hands?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, they're empty -- shouldn't they be holding at least one 16 oz. cup made of partially recycled paper?"
"Actually son, there was a time when there were fewer than 50,000 Starbucks locations. So people usually drank their coffee at home, or at a Dunkin' Donuts or Waffle House."

Today there might be a Starbucks built in to every San Francisco police precinct, but back in 1968 when a hardened detective needed to get going before 11 a.m., he had few options. In Bullitt, our introduction to the title character shows us exactly how badass and unorthodox he is through his choice of coffee (this is assuming the viewer is unfamiliar with Steve McQueen, because otherwise you would know exactly how badass Bullitt is just by the actor portraying him). Awakened extra early (after 10 a.m.), Bullitt is cranky -- and to make things worse he has a square suit from downtown walking around his apartment giving him orders. Only one way to remedy this situation: the worst cup of coffee imaginable.

Let's dig out the last few traces of instant coffee from this old jar with a worn off label, probably rolling around under his bed after the last time he had to get up early. Wait, we never see him put water in his mug -- does he just keep water in that mug in the event of an early wake up?!
And he doesn't even walk over to the stove to boil water, he uses -- what do you even call that? Do they still make those? You just plug that thing in and stick it in your instant coffee? It's obviously a very safe and reliable piece of hardware. Actually, Bullitt probably fashioned it himself using an old lamp.
It's good that clothes, not coffee, make the man. How long until that chase scene?


Paul C. said...

Awesome. I also love the scene where he goes grocery shopping. He just grabs a handful of TV dinners, not even taking time to look what he's buying. When you're Bullitt, you don't even bother with niggling details like that.

Oh, and I have one of those little coffee-heater things. I used it a lot in my projectionist days, when I needed to heat my tea but I only had the drinking fountain to use for water. Now it's gathering dust.

Adam Ross said...

Ah yes, the projectionist must adapt. I can't imagine how something like that could be sold today, seems like a horrific accident waiting to happen. On the other hand, it would probably work better than microwaving cold coffee.