Top Ten Things Not to Do Before You’ve Had Your Coffee



The inspiration for this list came from the various and sundry things that needed to be done to begin to get back to normal after Hurricane Harvey. I haven’t done any of these, but it was fun pretending and I would certainly have some coffee before trying.

10 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not meet with a FEMA representative. If you do, at best you’ll have to excuse your behavior. At worst, the US marshalls will call in reinforcements to help extricate you from the room. (Who would have thought that raising your voice would have caused that reaction, Baltazar?)

9 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not call your cable provider to request service. If you do, at best you’ll be on hold for an hour. At worst you’ll get to talk to Tiny the WWF champ who just got released from his sociopath support group. (The two of you are having an excellent debate. Why is it he keeps wanting to know where you live, Banjo?)

8 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not take your car in for service. If you do, at best they will honor your appointment time. At worst, you’ll sit in the lounge for an hour trying to avoid being stepped on by two hyperactive toddlers. (They have already apologized for the fact the coffee machine is out-of-order. You might as well try to relax and for heaven’s sake quit thinking about that letter you plan to write to the CEO of the service company, Barnaby.)

7 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not visit the license bureau to renew your driver’s license. If you do, at best you’ll get a low number for service. At worst, you have pulled number 208, and they are now serving number four. (The drive through at McDonald’s wait now looks like a breeze compared to this huh, Beaudoin?)

6 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not visit the bank to ask for a loan. If you do, at best it is a bank holiday. At worst, you will finally admit that you really need the money and will, therefore, be denied the loan. Too bad your decaf state caused you to forget the rule about “those who have gets,” Bellamy.)

5 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not meet with your boss to talk about your career. If you do, at best your boss caught the flu and is out sick today. At worst, your discussion could have taken a nasty turn when your boss suggested you need some additional training. (If you had someΒ caffeine, Benjamin maybe youΒ would not have pounded on the bosses desk causing security to escort you to the parking lot. Tomorrow ought to be interesting.)

4 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not try to complete that delicate experiment with the new product at work. If you do, at best you’ll come to your senses. At worst, you are now in a position of being responsible for a complete redo. (You were sure your shaking hands would not be a factor right, Bennet?)

3 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not try to write that breakthrough chapter on your book. If you do, at best you and the keyboard will have a staring contest. At worst, you will forge ahead and write what you think is the best stuff you have ever done. (Really tough to file 13 all those words isn’t it Bodee?)

2 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not read that last two-star review. If you do, at best you’ll be diverted by a natural disaster. At worst, even though some of the points may be well taken, you vow out loud to hunt the person down and hit them with a poison dart. (Sure it’s the lack of caffeine talking, but you are scaring the kids, Braddock.)

1 If you’ve not had your coffee, do not try to create that meaningful post that you hope everyone will love. If you do, at best, the typos will kill you. At worst, only after you have posted and read what you have written doΒ you see the similarity to the Unibomber manifesto. (Good luck getting that one canceled off all the social media sites, Brayden.)


  1. I’ve got to find me one of those sociopath support groups!

    1. Look for the sign, “Will support for food.” They’ll all be there. Thanks, Phil.

  2. Gwen Plano · ·

    LOL… Hillarious list – one of your best and I love the image. 10, 9, and 8…they resonate more than they should. πŸ˜€

    1. I know right? Thanks, Gwen.

  3. Haha! I agree so much. I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but the black morning coffee is more than essential!

    1. I have one cup a day in the morning. Okay so it is 12 ounces but still…. Thanks, Andrea.

  4. Love these advisory posts, John – Note to self – get another coffee – NOW πŸ˜€

    1. Quickly, Chris. Thank you for the visit. πŸ˜€

      1. β˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈπŸ‡πŸ‡πŸ‡

  5. Someone should invent an alarm clock that wakes you with a fresh cup of coffee. It would solve so many problems.

    1. Man. Don’t I wish. Thanks, Charles.

  6. Top-Ten, but oh so many follow this, John. I’ve done #8. I took my car in for service, left my full cup of coffee in the cup holder. Was denied access to my car to retrieve it and the coffee in the lounge was still from yesterday. An ugly scene was avoided by a service manager who understood. Good thing it was Tiny’s day off.

    1. Ha ha ha. “Give me my coffee and no-one gets hurt.” Thanks for the story , Dan

      1. I never know what to think when I read the top-ten and realize I’ve done that. I think the worst case was when I had done three of that (I think that involved what not to do with a spouse)

      2. Three is pretty far in. Thanks, Dan

  7. Great list, John! Number two…LOL! πŸ™‚ Happy Monday!

    1. Happy Monday to you as well…er is that an oxymoron?

  8. Tiny’s number please..

  9. Hysterical, John. By the time I got to poison darts and then to the Unibomber Manifesto, my sides were hurting from laughing! πŸ˜‚

    1. Thank you, so much, Jennie. You have a way to make my day.

      1. Thanks, John. The feeling is mutual!

  10. Great list, John. πŸ˜€
    Nobody leaves the room – where’s my mug?!

    1. ha ha ha. Thanks, Karen.

  11. Not a coffee drinker, but things get serious if I’m denied my Diet Coke.

  12. Anyone naive enough to give Tiny their name and address also needs a support group. Without coffee, you’re liable to take your car into a shop that holds it for ransom until you pay what they bill you. Didn’t you notice the owner’s name was Don Corleone? Good ten things, John. πŸ˜€ — Suzanne

    1. Ha ha ha, Suzanne.

  13. Wish you’d told me about some of these sooner…

    1. Well, all you have to do is ask.

      1. Add life coach to your credentials.

      2. Ha ha ha. Life coach and margarita maker.

      3. Heck, I might sign up because of that last part.

  14. Ah, #1! I’ve been guilty of that. πŸ™‚ Actually, your post reminded me I hadn’t had my coffee yet this morning, so it is now in my hands and all is well with the world. πŸ™‚

  15. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I LOVE #3. My computer and I have have had that staring contest more times than I can count — and not even coffee would shorten that struggle!!

    1. Me too. I’m the one who blinks though.



    Huh? What? How did I get here?

    1. Ha ha ha. Loved this, Greg.

  17. Super list John… Unibomber Manifesto? I loved it!

    1. Ha ha ha. Thanks, John

  18. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    I’m pretty sure I’ve ran into Tiny on the phone a couple of times! For me it’s tea- and I try to keep the poison darts hidden until the afternoon:)

    1. Darts need to be kept out of sight until needed. Thanks, DL

  19. A nice hot cup of coffee in the morning is priceless ~ unless it comes from Starbucks. Lol! πŸ™‚

    1. Then it is pricy. Thanks for the laugh.

  20. For me, that “old coffee nose”, there’s only one advice: do (absolutely) nothing before your first mug of coffee. Well, except for brewing it, that is. πŸ˜‰
    Have a great week,

  21. Thank you for reminding, dear John! Coffee should be priority! For ever! πŸ™‚

      1. True! And ever after!!! πŸ™‚

  22. And it’s a good thing it was water I was drinking, not coffee, because I just spewed it on the computer screen. πŸ˜€ You slayed me with the last one, John.
    Huge hugs.

    1. Thank you, Teagan. My quest in like is to make you spew on the computer.

      1. Quest achieved! πŸ˜€

  23. Well, I try not to do anything without coffee but sometimes I get on my laptop before I have had enough and it never works out! Too funny! With Harvey’s visit I had to go almost three days without coffee before a neighbor brought one over to share with Husband.

    1. I woud not have made three days. More like three minutes. Thanks, Jo

  24. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out John Howell’s post on the Top Ten Things not to do Before You’ve Had Your Coffee from his blog.

    1. Thank you for the reblog, Don

  25. Awesome, John. This must be why my drive to work is a nightmare … I only have my coffee when I get to work [grin].

    1. Oh no. You need to have a road cup. πŸ˜€

  26. […] Source: Top Ten Things Not to Do Before You’ve Had Your Coffee […]

    1. Thank you so much for the reblog, Patty.

  27. Thank goodness I don’t drink coffee, but I’m guessing these all apply to us tea drinkers as well, John? Maybe I should switch to becoming an ‘afternoon’ writer? At least I’d miss #1. πŸ˜€

    1. Of course these apply to tea drinkers and Welshmen.

      1. Oh no! I was hoping it wouldn’t apply to Welshmen. I’ll have to find myself a dragon. πŸ˜€

  28. […] her feel better about her early pregnancy weight gain. Good job bozo. You could put that on one of John Howell’s top-10 things not to EVER do list. It’s a good thing Tiny isn’t some distant relative of […]

    1. Terrific, Dan. Thanks for the mention.

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