Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Wicked Mermaid of the West

It was announced earlier today that beginning this year, St*rbucks is going to close 600 stores. All of them in North Dallas. The remaining 600 stores will simply double in size to accommodate those poor lost souls who now must drive an extra 1.6 minutes to get their venti frappuccino fix.

Actually, St*rbucks is becoming a bit more acceptable since I’ve started micromanaging the baristas. I stand at the counter for at least a full sixty seconds listing the desired characteristics of what should be a simple latte. My order sounds something like:
I’d like a large (or “medium,” or “small”—I’ve never really been fluent in the St*rbucks idiolect) non-fat latte in a ceramic mug with no foam and not burning hot.
At Torrefazione—the last of the great coffee shops in Dallas—all I had to say was, “Double non-fat latte,” and it would be perfect every time. And served in a hand-painted ceramic mug. With a flower design in the ever-so-thin layer of froth.

But that was before St*rbucks completely bought up their competition in Dallas and closed it down. Now at the only St*rbucks I go to with any regularity—the one in Casa Linda, where Saturday mornings between 5:30-8:30 I read while more active people are training for a marathon at White Rock Lake—they’ve begun selling the Torrefazione mugs with the hand-painted Italian designs.

But they still won’t serve you in them. They won’t serve you in any ceramic mug unless you specifically ask, despite the fact that I’m there every Saturday morning asking again and again to be served in a ceramic mug. With no foam. And not burning hot. You know: a regular fucking latte. So much for knowing your regular customers! (When I bumped into the barista from Torrefazione at a concert about a year after they were closed, he still remembered my order.)

In Europe, even at the St*rbucks, you are automatically served in ceramic. So civilized. And eco-friendly. I wish more St*rbucks would close and make room for some decent coffee houses to take their place. If the other options in Dallas are any indication, however, I’ll end up standing at the counter telling the barista to hold the Jesus. I only want a fucking latte; I don’t want to be proselytized! Or listen to crappy Christian pop music while I’m trying to read.


  1. By the way, my new profile pic was taken at the St*rbucks across from the British Museum, where I was enjoying a latte in a ceramic mug despite the sickness, jetlag, and insomnia.

  2. That's my Frankie...gaaaad, he was beautiful!!! I love your crazy ass. I really do.--