July 25, 2007
An enormous woman steps up to my coffee booth at the Park Silly Sunday Market. "Give me a tall iced caramel macchiato."
"Would you like that non-fat," I ask? "Oh, and our sizes are listed on the chalk board in front of you, but I guess you didn’t see them." They are 12 ounces and 16 ounces, it’s virtually impossible to make an iced macchiato, seeing as a macchiato is just espresso and foam. "Would you like a 12-ounce caramel latte instead?"
Starbucks coffee drinkers are the greatest. Most do not know what they are drinking and shouldn’t be drinking it at all. Most people are already too hyper. Coffee people are a special breed; the kind of people who have nothing better to do than go to Starbucks at 8:00 a.m. and figure out what the new hot gossip is.
Behind the counter is a whole other world. In front of you there is a line of people on their cell phones, tapping their feet, because they NEED their caffeine. In the meantime, I’m running back and forth from the register to the espresso machine, while people are shouting orders at me.
I look up to see middle-aged women slowly pushing and nudging their way forward to order. They do it so subtly, if you are in line you hardly notice them. When I look up from behind the counter, I can tell exactly what each person will order.
The woman in the work-out clothes who just came from the gym, will order a "skinny" latte. The man in the business suit behind her, pretending to take an important call, will order a grande black coffee, bombard it with an excessive amount of sugar and cream and completely defeating the purpose of "black" coffee. The two teenage girls adjacent to him, who probably weigh 200 pounds together, will both order "skinny" or non-fat Chai’s with sugar-free vanilla. Then, a new giant woman steps up to order the mother lode. "I want a double chocolate chocolate frappucino, with extra whip."
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Once again, I explain to her that we are not Starbucks, and there is one located down the street. Of course I say this in the sweetest, most polite voice, with an exaggerated smile on my face.