Coffee has been around for a very long time. It is no coincidence that such an influential and integral drink has created a cultural realm of its own. According to “Hot and Bothered: Coffee and Caffeine Humor” by Elise Decamp with Catherine M. Tucker, coffee humor has been depicted to be one of the compliments that has culturally elevated coffee-drinking to a another human aspect – humor. Humor can be interpreted and expressed in more ways than one.
There are no set rules of what constitutes humor in any society; therefore, humor comes in many shapes and sizes.
So, how is increasing coffee humor relayed to “caffeine culture? ” Each culture and point in time is different, but coffee has always had a strong correlation to a “caffeine culture” that stemmed from the physiological and mental attributes that coffee, or caffeine, imposes on its consumer. Because of its notorious effects coffee has on its consumers, drinking coffee has been portrayed as an energizing, riveting, and delectable image.
The article also makes references to cartoons and sketches about consuming coffee in the mid-1900’s and how it depicted the consumption of coffee and its effects. This is perhaps because during that span, societies were emerging as more work-oriented lives that led to the more practical use of coffee, or caffeine. Coffee humor emerged as a way of interpreting coffee consumption and its effects by portraying the consumers as very alert, alive, and even somber. The articles also notes that research on caffeine consumption not only may make a person more energized and alert, but also relaxed and at ease.
This eventually led to the relationship coffee had with its consumers by allowing avid coffee drinkers to demonstrate their affinity and devotion by either wearing it as a shirt, bumper sticker, or on a description via social media. Eventually, coffee humor has contributed to the image many coffee drinkers hold and has been an essential method of showing the world the many faces of drinking coffee. Drinking coffee, however, has not always been portrayed as a positive influence.
Through coffee humor, modern preoccupations about coffee or other aspects of modern life have been revealed to be a concern for the consumption of coffee. The article explains the use of caffeine as drug, known as dopamine, which is responsible for the effects it has on its consumers. Those effects being alertness sleep depravity, high-energy, and an increase in blood pressure. Caffeine not only causes these effects to take place during its intake, but like many other drugs, it leads to withdrawals that bring forth anxiousness, depression, muscle fatigue, insomnia, and headaches.
These withdrawals, however, only last a couple days, unlike stronger drugs with longer lasting withdrawals. Consequently, coffee humor has taken an interpretation of the effects of coffee consumption by portraying what would happen if someone was to go without drinking coffee and their lives would be different. What may seem like an innocent joke at first, could actually be analyzed as a portrayal of a social issue of the potential dangers and misinformed lifestyles many choose to be a part of.