Forget you, Mr. Ewan MacColl, for writing this song. Your syntax sucks, but is unfortunately catchy – so catchy, that the phrase pops up in my brain at least once a week. But really? A person begins a sentence by saying “the first time ever I” anything and they automatically sound like Radar O’Reilly after too many Grape NeHis.
And yet, I sometimes grow misty-eyed and sentimental about Important Moments in my life and the only phrase asinine enough to describe them usually begins the first time ever I… and then the rest of the thought is doomed to sound something like this:
The first time ever I drank coffee – intentionally, and without abandon: It was Denny’s, late summer, 2004.
It was a group breakfast: a buncha new coworkers and supervisors gathering around dirty plates of hams and eggs. I’m feeling equal parts excitement and dread: six of these people will be “my” “staff.”
What? I have a staff? Server, a Malibu and Coke, please!
Me: No Malibu? Ronrico’ll do. Or Senor Dreadloxx or whatever other shit you have gathering dust under the bar.
Server, laughing slower and with less certainty: Ha…haha…
This is… a…Denny’s.
Me, looking around: Right. Yup.
Server, confused: …with no, you know, liquor license?
Me, shocked as hell: Oh yeah? Huh.
Server, amazed: I can get you some… Dr. Pepper? Orange Juice? Coffee?
Me: Coffee! Yes, coffee! I’ll take some coffee! That sounds good!
Server, backing away slowly: Ohhh…kaaaaaay…
I proceed to chain-drink mug after mug of coffee, until I’m shaking like a junkie and talking forty-five-kilometres per hour. Surely this initial impression on those whom I would be supervising was im-fucking-peccable.
You* hear stories about people who try heroin once and they’re immediately, indeliably, hooked? Yeah. I drank coffee every morning after that.
No, really – every morning since August 2004. I’ve skipped a few mornings when I didn’t feel so hot (that’s how I know I’m sick, by the way – if I can’t even drink coffee) or coffee just wasn’t available, and some days it’s just a few quick sips before I gotta scoot, but I’m coming up on my Seven Year anniversary of Slowly Damaging My Insides And Probably Self-Inducing A Slow Growing Form Of Cancer.
*Or, say, a friend-of-a-friend hears this story and some fucked up part of his brain decides that’s why he wants to try it and Fast Forward five or six years and he’s a shriveled-up douchebag who nobody even likes enough to stage an intervention. That’s the real story, kids.