I was jet lagged and had attended both morning prayers and Mass—all without a single cup of coffee. The moment the final blessing was intoned, I made a beeline to the cafeteria, taking care not to knock over elderly religious en route.
A large, round brother stood between me and the coffee maker. I veered left. He veered right, smiling beatifically. I leaned slightly to the right. He mirrored my move.
“Are you guarding the coffee?” I asked, incredulous.
“Yes,” he beamed. “I am Brother Alphonsus. If you take it now, it will be very strong.”
“That’s the way I like it,” I faked left, went right. He anticipated my move.
“If you get the strong coffee,” Brother explained, “someone will get stuck with very weak coffee.”
I tried another tactic. “Let’s you and I snag some good, strong coffee and not worry about the others.”
“Well, I’ve been on the receiving end too many times, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
I sighed. “So, you’re saying that you are laying down your life for the good of all.”
“That’s right,” Brother Alphonsus beamed.