The Bitter Gene

2 May

On Friday, we had a gathering of faculty and staff to celebrate the end of another academic year. As a few of us sat around a table, the conversation jumped from one topic to another. During this time, someone stated that they liked a tweet that I created about my distaste for coffee. He also does not like coffee and was happy to find someone who agrees with him.Coffee

As we bonded over this issue, the dialogue moved from the liquid and toward those who drink it. Basically, we hate it when coffee drinkers look at us like we are crazy. It usually goes like this:

Would you like a cup of coffee?

No thanks, I do not drink coffee?

They stand in stunned silence and act like they are looking at an alien.

Anyway, one of the biologists overheard our conversation and asked if I like beer, another liquid that I am not crazy about. I will drink it if there is nothing else around. I will also drink it if I am in a crowded bar, and it is the simplest thing to order. However, I have never craved a beer.

All of my life, I have heard people say, “A cold beer would be really good right now.” If I am thirsty I may desire water, a soft drink, an energy drink, chocolate milk. Heck, anything. However, I have never thought to myself, “I would love to have a beer.”

Getting to the point. I told the biologist that I am not a fan of beer, either.

He said that I have the Bitter Gene and that my chemical makeup means that I taste coffee and beer differently from others. I am getting one taste, and they are getting another one.

Now, I know what to say when someone asks how there is any way that I do not like coffee. It is simple. I am genetically superior.


14 Responses to “The Bitter Gene”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong May 2, 2015 at 20:52 #

    I love coffee. I don’t like beer. And that means … ?

    • Rick May 2, 2015 at 21:39 #

      It means you are not very bitter.

  2. sittingpugs May 3, 2015 at 01:45 #

    Would you like a cup of coffee?

    No thanks, I do not drink coffee?

    They stand in stunned silence and act like they are looking at an alien.

    I suspect that a similar scene would unfold for a non-tea drinker if “coffee” were replaced with “tea.”

    I used to only drink lattes and cappuccinos; it wasn’t until the last four or so years that I developed a taste for coffee, and only very recently a taste for it black. I don’t even “like” the taste of coffee as much as the scent of it, but I am dependent on and addicted to the ritual of drinking something warm (or cold) before my day starts or when I need a hug and nobody is there to give me one.

    • Rick May 3, 2015 at 02:30 #

      That is the other thing. I am not a fan of hot drinks. I need something cold to get my day started.

  3. Bantering Ram May 3, 2015 at 05:24 #

    Aha! Clearly there’s no bitterness in my genes 😀

    • Rick May 3, 2015 at 12:50 #

      You are not a bitter person.

      • Bantering Ram May 3, 2015 at 14:33 #

        Nope, I’m just a pint of mild

  4. Andrew Petcher May 3, 2015 at 06:15 #

    Earl Grey Tea for me every time!

    • Rick May 3, 2015 at 12:51 #

      We drink that at work. It makes me feel like Captain Picard.

  5. kirizar May 3, 2015 at 16:51 #

    “Now all I need to know is there a corollary to having the bitter gene and having a dyspeptic personality?” She said while eschewing beer and coffee.

    • Rick May 3, 2015 at 18:50 #

      That is a question that combines the fields of biology and psychology. Tomorrow, I will attempt to get them in a room together.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


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