Follow author Tom Pappalardo on a black coffee tour of cafes, diners, and convenience stores, as he travels the potholed side streets and witch-cursed back roads of Western Massachusetts. Grab a table and sit. Nod and smile at whatever the waitress brings you. Does it taste like a 9-volt battery dipped in old, hot Coke? Good. You’re in the right place.
These hilarious shorts are a perfect snarkfest, combining people watching and café criticism with abundant humor. Pappalardo visits coffee emporiums in Northampton, Amherst, and other towns in western Massachusetts to sample brews ranging from fabulous to putrid and to jot his impressions of baristas and customers. He ranges from local coffeehouses to Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks locations, going so far as to reference the noncontroversy of the 2015 red holiday cups; he even experiences coffee in his local public library. In one riff, he rails against the ludicrousness of far-distant coffee pickup counters; elsewhere, he visits a Dunkin’ Donuts dominated by painful country music. Pappalardo’s enjoyment of doughnuts, pie, and other comestibles adds delight to the collection, as does his recording of overheard conversations and scenes. This collection is good for a consistent supply of laughs, regardless of whether readers live in Massachusetts or drink coffee. (BookLife)