Saturday, December 20, 2008

And......There Goes The Last Of My Christmas Cheer

I know my last few posts have been rather "cranky" in tone.

I'm not done yet.

Yesterday I was running errands in the pouring rain. December rain is the most depressing, soul-flattening rain ever experienced. I had just gone to the specialty pet store to try out a new food for the panty-muncher who seems to think that pooing on the carpet is now welcome behavior, when I spied a Starbucks nearby.

I like coffee and have even described myself as something of a coffee snob. I am particular about my coffee, but simplistic in my expectations. It has to be good, it has to be strong, and it has to be hot. You'd be surprised how hard it is to obtain the last expectation ever since the Darwin Award runner-up won millions of dollars from a fast food chain because she spilled it on her crotch and was shocked to find that it was actually HOT, like it says RIGHT THERE ON THE CUP!

But Starbucks takes coffee snob to a whole different level.

I walked in and eyed the menu board to see what was on tap so to speak. It said right there to "ask what we're brewing today!"

So I approached the 19 year old "barista" behind the counter and asked exactly that. To be precise I said "What hot coffee do you have available?"

She said "Do you mean hot coffee?"

Is there an echo in here?

When I assured her that by asking for hot coffee I did indeed mean hot coffee, she stated that they had Pike Place coffee and Christmas Blend. I'm familiar with Pike Place coffee as this is the coffee they always have available and I usually purchase, but was intrigued by the Christmas Blend. So I used my own personal barometer question by which I judge most coffee, "Is it a strong coffee blend?" She answered in the affirmative, so I asked if it was stronger than the Pike Place coffee.

"Um, it's a bold blend with spicy notes."

Well I'm relieved to hear that it's assertive enough to ask me out on a date and will probably wear a sexy outfit.

"But is it stronger than the Pike Place coffee?"

"Um, it might be."

Very helpful. I'll take the Pike Place as I'm not feeling adventurous today.

"OK, give me a medium cup of the Pike Place."

You almost heard the hush blow through the place and a slight gasp from the trendy couple browsing the Internet on their matching laptops at the nearby uncomfortable but oh-so-urbane bistro style postage stamp size cafe table.

"Um, did you mean a Grande?"

I, assuming in my unenlightened mind that Grande meant "large" because that is actually what GRANDE translates to, said, "No I mean a medium." And considering Starbucks has it's origins in Seattle, Washington, which last time I checked was in the continental United States and didn't in fact have any connection to Italy, I couldn't understand why the sizes were listed partially in Italian anyway.

The trendy couple shook their heads in disgust at my uncouth, and the 19 year old gave me a pitying glance as she plucked a Grande cup from the pile of paper cups and attempted to educate me. At which time I discovered that Venti is large - even though it actually translates to "twenty", Grande is medium, never mind that it actually means large, and Tall, in a remarkable stroke of contradictory genius, is a small.

Give me my damn coffee and let me slink out into the rain with the other unwashed masses.


Dani said...

I would have been as clueless as you regarding the size, I don't drink coffee tho, so I'm even more in the dark about Starbucks.

I was so surprised to hear that you got mostly rain, you guys are always getting snow and we get the rain, it was a rarity that we had all snow (and some lovely sleet on top) and you guys were warmer than us. Looks like it's going to be a hell of a winter, nuisance storm ontop of nuisance storm.

Irishembi said...

We've actually had very little snow here so far. Mostly it's been rain or freezing rain. Friday was truly miserable though. Steady downpour.

katherineolivia said...

LOL, I love this story!

Libby Buttons said...

Fabulous blog. Youre quite pithy.