Saturday Storytime: The Day Coffee Stopped Working

Science fiction doesn’t have to be serious in order to be serious science fiction. Take this story by John Bailey Owen, odd duck and coauthor of The Hunger But Mainly Death Games: A Parody.

“…And that is why I have called you here,” the President said to the Cabinet. “By this time next year, coffee will no longer work.”

The room was silent. The members of the Cabinet couldn’t believe it. They were also quiet, because it was early, and none of them had gotten any coffee yet. As usual, there was coffee waiting for them on a side table, but they weren’t sure if it was O.K. to drink it now. But then, the President stood up and got some, thank God, so everyone else did, too.

A little while later, they were sipping their coffee and feeling much better. They were all in their own little worlds. But the Secretary of the Treasury always drank his coffee annoyingly quickly. He really guzzled it. And now he was talking.

“So,” he said.

“Hmm?” said the President, looking up from his coffee. Then he remembered. “Oh, as I was saying, in the near future, coffee is going to lose its characteristic effects. It’ll still be around, it just won’t work on us.”

Two people committed suicide right then and there.

“You mean like hot coffee?” asked the Attorney General, after the paramedics had cleared away those bodies.


“What about espresso?”

Everyone in the room looked up all hopefully, like, oh yeah, espresso’s not so bad. I could get used to espresso.

“No,” said the President. “That won’t work either.”

“But iced coffee will be O.K.?”

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Saturday Storytime: The Day Coffee Stopped Working
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4 thoughts on “Saturday Storytime: The Day Coffee Stopped Working

  1. 1

    Coffee has never really ‘worked’ on me, I drink it for the heat mainly, and the taste second since it’s hard to get a cup I really like. I’ve never had a noticeable caffeine or sugar buzz. Pity me, world!!

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