Another Jittery Coffee Blog

TelltaleGamesTelltaleGames Telltale Staff
edited 7:12AM in Blog
Back when I was working on the second floor of "A" Building at [that company that a lot of us used to work for way back when], it went like this: Somebody would make a pot of coffee, which would be emptied within minutes by twitching, caffeine-addicted designers and musicians -- except for the last few ounces. Nobody wanted to take the last tiny swig of java, because the rules of coffee courtesy as they are generally understood would then call for that person to make a new pot. Nobody wanted to be the one to make a new pot. Everybody wanted to be the first one in after someone ELSE made a new pot (this position is known as being "on the drip," a reference to the feature on most modern coffee machines that allows you to pour out a cup of coffee while the pot is still brewing, which feature typically works almost as well as you want it to). People would begin circling like vultures, checking back at the kitchen every ten minutes to see if anyone had brewed more coffee. Sometimes they would stack up like this for hours, circling and circling and waiting to see who would cave in first in a great big multi-player game of coffee chicken.

Here at Telltale, things work a little differently. People do drink coffee, but mostly in the form of extravagant concoctions made by professionals at local caffeinatoriums. Even those who drink regular joe tend to carry it in from the outside. I'm not sure why this is, since we have a perfectly good coffee making machine right here in the office, but I suppose we're supporting the local economy (except when patronizing the mega-chains, but don't get me started about that).

Still, every now and then, somebody brews coffee. It doesn't get mobbed, and it doesn't get vultured. Some gets drunk, maybe even all of it, but then more gets made and sooner or later a half a pot is left and slips into a kind of Coffee Limbo. Walking by the machine, one is never certain how long the coffee has been there, and this causes trepidation, as well as ambiguity of responsibility. You don't want to drink the coffee, because maybe it's from yesterday, but you don't want to throw it out, either, because even if you yourself made coffee earlier, this might be a more recent pot created by someone else. Everyone is unwilling to touch it either way.

And so it sits. This may have something to do with why people bring in outside coffee, thus perpetuating the situation in a vicious cycle.

The ambiguity is resolved eventually when things begin to happen on the surface of the coffee in the pot, but this makes it even more unlikely that anyone will do anything about it. It begins with a whitish film. Nobody wants to touch a coffee pot with a whitish film, much less empty it and clean it.

The film becomes a layer, thickening and bubbling and changing colors like some primordial ooze. It makes me wonder about the composition of the original primordial ooze -- could it be that all life on earth sprang from a neglected pot of cosmic coffee? It would certainly explain a lot about human nature.

Things gelatinize, and lumps begin to appear. Protrusions of the sort that might eventually develop into limbs. But then, just when things are getting really interesting, I'll come in one day and the pot will be empty again.

It's possible that someone has taken the plunge and cleaned the pot, but I am inclined to believe that what has really happened is that whatever it was that was growing in there has simply packed up and moved out in search of a better living space. I imagine it slopping out in the dead of night, cleaning up after itself and then exploring the rest of the office to find a suitable spot in which to grow larger and larger. Perhaps these escaped creatures find one another. There may be a whole colony of them by now, gathering in secret places to do who knows what.

I hope they're friendly. But I wouldn't bet on it. No one is really sure what it was that ate poor Doug Modie, but I have my suspicions. And wasn't he a coffee drinker?

Me, I'm sticking with tea.

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