Wednesday, February 01, 2006

C-O-F-F-E-E Coffee is not for me

It's a drink for total flaming snobs. What is it with you coffee ass motherfuckers? While in line at a Starbucks or Starbucks-like establishment, I'll sometimes sheepishly confide in a friend that ordering coffee intimidates me. But at least twice my voce wasn't so sotto because a stranger will swing around and confide the same. Us coffee rookies need to step up to the counter en masse and revolt when some caffeine queen turns up the nose when we say "I'll have a Americano grande...and make it a large." (P.S. This actually happened to me when I was getting a coffee for the Mr. before a long road trip. When I returned to the car all dejected cuz the cashier treated me so snottily, he explained that "grande" IS the size. Ya know, large? How the superfreak was I supposed to know we had to ORDER in Italian?) I imagine Starbucks and its ilk need to don this steely demeanor as a sound business strategy. Else who would take a chance on buying all those Antigone Rising CDs in the racks next to the pure cane sugar and Madagascar cinnamon (apart from Rob Thomas, that is)? Just being in the same room as these coffee nazis confers a sort of secret handshake coolness upon any object/person. Or not, as the case may be. And that's the point of Starbucks, is it not? Where at McDonald's, you buy time, at Starbucks, you buy hip. Can you measure up?

Well, I've tried and I still can't. Not even at this dumpy little coffee kiosk right outside the Communications building where I attend/teach most of my classes. Rarely open and frequently without milk or steam or, um, coffee, it's more a reassuring site marker than a place of business. Last week, I was running on about three hours sleep and desperately needed something to keep me awake during my 9:30am reading group. So I kiosk it.

Cashier dude (already looking overwhelmed even though he just opened): Can I help you?

Me: I'll have a iced mocha latte. (This is my stock order, one that seems to require no further Italian specifications. I'll never know for certain if I ever want anything besides an iced mocha latte.)

CD: Um, our machine is broke so I can't make a lot of the coffee drinks.

M: Not even an iced mocha latte?

CD: No I can't steam the milk.

Hmmm...So THAT'S what I've been drinking all along. Really? Ice and steam, huh? Ok, what do I know? But I'm losing it during Reading Rainbow. So at break, I suck up my pride and approach the kiosk again. Now dude is talking to a friend but oddly enough, still has this overwhelmed look on his face (another business strategy?).

CD: Can I help you?

M (a bit sheepishly): I know your machine is broke but can I have an iced coffee?

And then he gives me this pained "ooooh, I don't know about that request" kind of look.

M (losing it): Can you just put coffee over ice?!?!

CD: Yes, that I can do.

Ok what the MOTHERSHIP did I ask wrong? What ELSE could iced coffee be?!? Seriously - I wanna know! Please feel free to respond here.

And this kind of social menace isn't relegated to the coffee monde. Again last week, I go to this tony bistro-type joint to meet with a prof for an independent reading course. (The menu is on a gorgeous flat-screen TV. Hmph!) Anyhoo, I want to order this sandwich that has a plum tomato on it. Like an idiot, I ask...

M: What's a plum tomato?

Cashier chick: Pardon me?

M: A plum tomato?

CC gives a blank stare.

M: It's on your menu; it's in one of your sandwiches.

CC: Oh yeah! A plum tomato. That's just a type of tomato.

Nooooooooooooooooooo shit, Miss Marple!!! Do I have a face that screams "Please please please don't let me get what I want this time?!?!?" This shit never happens at Long John Silver's. In fact, a few years back, I remember asking if scallops were still on the menu to which one of John's pirates responded with an adorable "Sir, I don't even know what scallops are."

I rung the fuck outta the bell that day. ;)


Blogger Luke said...

Kevin can you please teach me how to write? I really enjoyed reading this.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous doug said...

Iced coffe is double brewed so the melting ice doesn't make it weak. Its especially strong at starbucks

4:03 PM  

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