I don’t usually hang out in coffee shops. It’s not my thing. Besides, I’m from Seattle where coffee aficionados convert the heathen masses to daily worshippers, expanding the Church of the Anointed Bean across the globe. And the rest…as they say, is history, java joints popping up faster than meth labs.
I remember simpler times, when a tin of Folgers would suffice, but now coffee isn’t coffee without sweeteners, swirls, frappes, infusions, and add-shots. In my day if we needed to enhance the experience we reached for the Wild Turkey.
And don’t even get me started on the long-winded lingo that accompanies these concoctions.
It’s like “I don’t know who’s running the country or anything about global warming, but I can spiel off my favorite battery acid like I’m crushing my SAT.”
I’m already awkward in social situations, but add a pretentious setting and I fall apart faster than road kill in rush hour traffic.
I venture into an L.A. hangout amongst a fast-talking coffee-clutching crowd. Instantly I’m bombarded with smooth jazz and product placement.
In the queue I practice my order, but why bother? I never get it right. It’s almost like those baristas know I’m going to bungle it.
There are seriously WAY too many choices. We talk about simplifying life, but we don’t mean it. What happened to small and large? Do we really need short, tall, Grande, Venti and Trente? Why so clever? I say we call Trente a Big Gulp and be done with it.
I arrive at the counter, where a hipster with pen poised in one hand and a paper cup in the other gives me a “hurry up sister” glare. When I finally do open my mouth, the sequence is backwards and I’ve managed to confuse him.
It appears my biological coffee clock is ticking as he stares at the long line forming at my rear end. I give it another few hurried tries until the puzzle is unscrambled and I’m sent off to wait for another bean bartender to screw up my name.
The only seat in the house is next to a blazing gas fireplace casting a faux glow as Kenny G accompanies my first sip, which seems as culturally significant to rich aroma and butane flames as canned laughter to sitcoms.
To make matters worse, I read in the Urban Dictionary that a “cup of coffee” is code for sex. Don’t I have enough on my tortured mind without worrying that my order might be interpreted as wanting a lay with that latte? I can almost hear the barista give a shout-out into the packed room…“Flat White looking for Tall Black!”
That’s it…I’m going home to brew a batch of brown water in my old Hamilton Beach electric percolator and pour it into my own damn mug. If that doesn’t rev my engine maybe I’ll get creative with the grounds and whip up a skinny no-foam doppio macchiato enema.