Coffee can be found in many variations in popular literature, in as many situations and venues as it would appear in real life. I just finished reading the latest novel in W.E.B. Griffin’s wildly popular Badge of Honor series. It’s but one of many of the prolific author’s franchises.
The Badge of Honor series is set in Philadelphia PA and centers around a group of police officers working to protect and serve in The City of Brotherly Love. I’ll mention a few of the more prominent coffee appearances found in the book.
- Our brave hero and favorite young cop Detective Sergeant Matt Payne first appears on the tail end of a thermos of coffee. “With his body clock still not reset to local time after his return from France, Payne had been up since four and, counting the last drops from the thermos, drunk five cups of coffee.” (page 16)
- One would think all late night big city meetings occur in one of those all night diners that offer a bottomless cup of black tar coffee. The one mentioned in the story is actually called the All-Nite Diner.
- As I’ve said before, coffee is the great equalizer. Detective Sgt. Payne uses a foam cup of black coffee to smooth his way into a crime scene he shouldn’t be at. “Don’t say I never gave you anything. Coffee, black.” (page 64)
- We all know that coffee has medicinal properties. If you don’t know, read on. Payne uses it as an anti-emetic while looking at a barbecued corpse. “Matt Payne feared that he- and everyone else- was about to see his breakfast again. But he gulped his coffee, pushing down the feeling in his gut while trying to maintain a detached inspection of the remains.” (page 67)
- As expected, coffee is ever-present at the station house.
- One coffee appearance I don’t appreciate is the use of “Cup O’Joe’s Internet Café”. It appears bad on two levels. The first is its use by the resident bad guy as a mobile office. The second is that it just happens to be the spot to score a load of drugs. Couldn’t this have occurred somewhere other than a coffee shop. Oh well, I guess bad guys need their caffeine too.
- It is generally assumed (I know because I assume it) that everyone likes coffee. Those who don’t apparently have something wrong with them, a bad gene or something. “He did not ask if Nesbitt wanted any; he simply poured coffee in both, then handed one to him.” (page 281)
- The Homicide Unit located at Philadelphia Police HQ uses a Mr. Coffee brewer. Not sure what kind of coffee they use though.
- “Coffee” is often used as a synonym for “meeting”, as in “drop by for coffee.” (page 284)
- To differentiate the very capable Dr. Amanda Law, prominent psychologist, from ordinary folk, she gets a “usual morning double cappuccino with non-fat milk.” (page 319). She orders it at Cup O’Joe’s Internet Café which could spell bad news.