A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2007, vol 3 no 1

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Mark Hollingsworth

A Jolt

Interstate 5 passes through cattle country on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. They just built a new Starbucks here at the Patterson exit. I stopped off for coffee shortly after six in the morning. The man ahead of me appeared to be a local cowboy. The girl at the espresso machine asked him, "What may I get started for you, sir?" Looking like this was his first time in such an establishment, he said, "Gi' me a small black coffee." "We have two flavors of coffee this morning. Would you prefer the mild or the bold?" "I don't do nothin' mild. I need somethin' to give me a jolt." "Actually the mild has more caffeine than the bold." "Gi' me the mild."