But one thing that I could have, even if I was just 8 or 9, was a nice, hot cup of coffee. With chicory, and beignets (I'm a hedonist). However, some health purists sometime in 2020 or so decided that coffee drinking stunted the growth of teens, so our great wise men in Congress restricted sale of coffee to people who were 25 or older. They threw in the extra four years to prove that they were in full support of virtue, health-wise, and to show what badasses they really were. Never mind the benefits of drinking coffee:
As if we needed convincing! They justified this by arguing that coffee was addictive, it was a psychoactive stimulant, and that it was frequently associated with socially unacceptable behaviors. The innocuous bikini baristas of the Seattle area were lumped together with the notorious betel girls of Taiwan. Also, the Puritan meanies raised the spectre of coffeehouses frequented by beatniks, even though the last one was seen about 50 years ago in Indianapolis! Well, who says you're supposed to play fair or be logical when you're fear-mongering?
This surprising coffee puritanism had an immediate impact. Since coffee sales were down, youthful workers were often seen nodding off on the job, "energy" drinks peaked in sales, and there was murmurs of discontent as the dark roast stream dried up to a trickle. The economy of Seattle tanked. In New Orleans, they tried beignets and hot tea for minors; but it went over like a lead balloon. Fast food places had to make up the revenue differences by dropping the senior discount coffee. It even inhibited some courtship processes:
Well, American teens and young milennials were not about to take this lying down, no Ma'am! As a matter of fact, they resurrected some methods used by their great-grandparents in fighting oppressive busybodies. Coffee speakeasies sprung up in both cities known as hotbeds of caffeinated vice and small towns alike to cater to the youthful coffee drinkers. The bootlegging trade in dry counties expanded to include underage coffee. Rumor had it that Hot Coffee, Mississippi was the distribution headquarters of this latter-day vice; therefore, latter-day coffee narcs tried going undercover there. However, they gave themselves away by wearing Oshkosh bib overalls, by gosh!
The expression, "Make a run for the border," no longer applied to satisfying taco munchies in Northern states; but instead implied a fast trip to Tim Horton's! And all snickered at the new meaning of the expression, "Just say no!" Some slogans are meant for the distbin of history.