Not so fine print

&*%$! DECAF! That was the prevailing sentiment earlier this week. That’s right, I’m tired as hell and I’m not going to take it any more! The problem? I kept forgetting to stop by the store to pick up some good old fashioned caffeinated tea mix. The answer presented itself last night. Cheryl asked me if I could stop by Publix on my way home. Could I?!? Heck yeah I could. I spent ten minutes on the coffee and tea isle weighing my choices.

Unsweetened? No, let’s go hole hog. Low cal or high cal? Well, let’s go low cal – as long as it’s all real sugar. Flavored or straight up? Well we’ve gone this far, flavored.

After the jury of one passed the verdict, I went home. This morning when I was unpacking the crown jewel of today’s provisions, I noticed the warning label. It was right there the whole time, if only I had looked more carefully. It said something to the effect of “one serving of this product contains less caffeine than brewed tea or your average soda.”

The gnashing of teeth and cries of despair could be FELT two floors below. It was a horrible blow to sleep deprived kind, the world over.

What exactly is the market for a “reduced caffeine” beverage anyway? Is there a carbon based life form ANYWHERE that’s a shade of gray on the caf/decaf issue? Is this stuff supposed to be the Nicorette Gum for coffee addiction? Is it for people who just want to be a little bit alert? WHY ME! WHY ME!!!

Friends, heed my warning, avoid Nestea instant, sweetened tea at all costs. As they said on the streets of the ’90s: “It’s not all that.”

Give the gift of words.