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Posts Tagged ‘caffeine’

Remember the good ole days?  Coffee meant coffee and there were no venti, half-caf, 140° soy orange mocha lattes with dairy-free, non-fat whip cream, and a dusting of organic nutmeg.  You’d go to a coffee shop for the coffee and to read the paper; not to hold business meetings or multitask on the phone.  You use to not care about the artwork on the walls or the latest house music hit playing on the store’s radio.  And you certainly didn’t set up shop with your laptop.

He could be working in an office, at the library, or on a desk just about anywhere else.  But where’s the show in that?  He needs to be able to walk into the place and announce his arrival by asking everyone present where the closest outlet is.  Depending on the store’s set up, this may give him an opening to begin moving around furniture or draping his power cord across multiple tables.  He takes his time milking this set up process so everyone knows that he’s marking his territory and setting up shop at that table.  And not to let the spotlight leave him just yet, he needs to ask those sitting around him if the place has free wi-fi or if they are able to pick up a signal from the apartments upstairs.

So what exactly is he up to?  Probably not surfing the internet or checking his email because he already has a smart phone for that.  Perhaps shopping online, but that is unlikely because he doesn’t have much cash after spending ten dollars on coffee drinks every time he shows up with his lap top.  Maybe he’s a very important businessman conducting very important business.  Or maybe he’s taking some time off to find himself and write the great American novel.  As Stewie Griffin so aptly put it, “How you uh, how you comin’ on that novel you’re working on?  Huh?  Gotta a big, uh, big stack of papers there?  Gotta, gotta nice litte story you’re working on there?  Your big novel you’ve been working on for three years?  Huh?  Gotta, gotta compelling protagonist?  Yeah?  Gotta obstacle for him to overcome?  Huh?  Gotta story brewing there?  Working on, working on that for quite some time?  Huh?  Yea, talking about that that years ago.  Been working on that the whole time?  Nice little narrative?  Beginning, middle, and end?  Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends?  At the end your main character is richer from the experience?  Yeah?  Yeah?  No, no, you deserve some time off.”

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StarbucksHis “addiction” began back in his high school days.  He was a member of his school’s drama troupe which consisted of the kids who considered themselves the “artistic but tortured souls.”  While sitting around discussing Chaucer and Nietzsche with Jeff, the “cool teacher” who let his students call him by his first name, he was first introduced to the black gold.  Later while in college, he joined the university’s poetry e-zine which met in the catacombs of the local indie coffee shop.  While discussing what rhymes with “brooding” and how to fit it nicely into iambic pentameter, he sipped espresso shots from his own personal demitasse cup which he carried around in his messenger bag.  Fast-forward ten years and he had his hopes and dreams crushed.  After graduating and having his unpaid internship with McSweeney’s fall through, he finally listened to his parents and went to grad school.  After toiling on and off for nearly six years getting a masters in philosophy and ancient languages, he eventually graduated and got a 9-5 working in a cubicle as a nameless and faceless drone with a multinational corporation (i.e. everything he has every stood against).

He can’t face his past anymore.  He makes a promise to himself that he will embrace the darkside and his new station in life.  He gets rid of his fixed gear bicycle and buys a hybrid.  He moves out of his downtown loft that he shared with six roommates to a townhouse in a newly gentrified up and coming neighborhood.  He no longer shops at Whole Foods because they support local farmers and growers; he shops there because that is what yuppies and soccer moms are supposed to do.  He donates his entire wardrobe to the local goodwill and buys page seven through thirteen of the JCrew catalogue.  And then we get to his obsession with coffee.  After having his spirit broken, he can’t face going back to the neighborhood hipster fair trade and feminist bookstore coffeehouses of his youth.  He goes to Starbucks.

Frappuccinos, lattes, americanos, cappuccinos, and macchiatos – it doesn’t matter.  Just like white people, he loves his coffee and especially everything Starbucks related.  He’s got all the latest Starbucks products: a home brewing machine, a bean grinder, five types of Starbucks coffee, and matching travel mugs.  He’s the customer that walks in the store and says things like “If I don’t get my cup of Starbucks this morning, I think I’ll have a serious case of the Mondays”, “Happy Humpday”, and “TGIF”.  Rather than use iTunes for purchasing his music, his musical preferences are governed by whatever artists are featured next to the Starbucks register.  If he’s swamped with work, he likes to take his laptop there and set up shop in his favorite nook.  He goes in there so often that the baristas are able to begin his usual drink when they see him walking in the door. Additionally, with all the customization, they need to get a head start on his grande, non-fat, 6 1/3 pump sugar free vanilla, 2 1/4 pump peppermint, no whip, 137° mocha topped with a dusting of cinnamon.

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