What's your obsession?
Humanity is endlessly fascinating. Particularly when it comes to people with obsessions.
I have a friend who is somewhat of an obsessive perfectionist.
Let’s just say he likes the very best of everything.
When he adopts a new hobby he immerses himself completely in the given topic.
First, he’ll read all the best books on the subject. Then he’ll comb the internet forums looking for ‘experts’ that are sharing the latest and greatest developments.
Most recently, he became interested in coffee.
Having lived his life in the UK (a country not normally celebrated for its talents at making the black stuff) he had never really tasted great coffee. In fact, he drank tea mostly.
A holiday in Italy soon changed that.
He came back with a burning enthusiasm to recreate the same heavenly experience he’d tasted in that charming trattoria in the setting summer sun on that Tuscan hillside.
Wasting little time he completed his standard approach. A couple of weeks later he was the proud owner of an extremely expensive coffee machine with a name that sounds like an Italian sports car manufacturer.
He bought an eye wateringly expensive grinder to accompany it and located the finest coffee supplier in London.
He was off to the races. Or so he thought.
Try as he might every cup he made tasted awful. It was undoubtedly some of the worst coffee ever made.
He was furious. However, he did not give up. He returned to the forums. He delved deeper and deeper into the threads until he came across something that he couldn’t quite believe.
There was a German man - let’s call him Klaus for cliche stereotypical ease - who had not one, not two, but FIVE of the same coffee machines in his house.
Each one was modified with temperature and pressure sensors that were then networked to a central computer.
Klaus would then spend all day in the restless pursuit of brewing the perfect cup of coffee.
He shared reams of data online, graphs with plotted temperature and pressure profiles for each cup.
He even sent the coffee grounds to a forensic laboratory to have them analysed. All in the name of improving the next batch!
This guy clearly lived alone. Presumably, any female companion he may have had in the past had left long ago.
And yet, it’s people like Klaus who should be more widely celebrated.
Thanks to him my friend now brews the best coffee for miles around (and quite possibly in the whole of the United Kingdom).
Here’s to the slightly weird and wonderful obsessives out there. It’s such a spirit which drives humanity forward.
Just imagine if this guy’s energy and enthusiasm had been channeled into solving any of the myriad problems currently facing humanity.
I reckon he’d have half of them solved before breakfast.