April 26 – Day 19 – $tarbucks

Apparently it’s national coffee week?

I won’t even look that up.  I’m tired.  This writing every day thing has me fat and exhausted from sitting in my Lazy Boy all day long trying to compose something decent.   All I want to do is consume flour products to ease the exhaustion of doing nothing but sitting and typing constantly for nearly 3 weeks.  My hands are cramped and that case of Mac ‘n Cheese we bought from Costco last week?  Gone.  I think I showered on Tuesday, but I can’t be sure.  What day is it today, anyway?

I know there’s probably something on Snopes that says this National Coffee week thing is all a hoax, but I’m tired of having to go clicking around the internet.  It’s just too much work having to research my facts and my clicker finger is tired.  Besides, I’m writing Creative Non-Fiction after all.  Who needs facts?

On the one hand, I have to wonder what kind of lobbying fees are involved to get this lovely week in April named after a nutrition-less, caffeine loaded hot drink that supports the economies of Latin America.  I notice we don’t have national Coke week, or national hard liquor week.  For better or for worse, the lobbies representing those popular beverages decided it was not the way to go.  But National Coffee week persisted.

So, if it’s truly national coffee week (and hey, every week of the year in my life is National Coffee week anyway), I’m noticing it’s hard to say that without thinking of $tarbucks.  They should have just been honest and called the place CoffeeBucks, because you can’t go in there without slaying the better part of a Hamilton.

I like coffee.  Or at least I think I like it.  For me it’s like saying “I like air & water.”  I’m reasonably certain I don’t have a choice as my survival depends on it.  I like it black, no sugar, and a heavily French roasted oily bean.  I’ve tried a fair amount of brands for that, but I shop at Costco, so I end up with bags of $tarbucks.  I like it enough, but that’s pretty much where my understanding of $tarbucks ends.  I’ve been in their retail outlets maybe a dozen times in as many years, and each time I feel like a stranger in a strange land.  There are protocols you are expected to know and I simply don’t.

For starters, there’s a language barrier that my pocket Berlitz cannot bridge.  How did small, medium and large suddenly become Tall, Grande, Vente, Trente and so forth?  Was real Italian just too easy to decipher so now we have faux Italian to make things interesting?  I freeze up every time they ask me what size I’d like and then invariably get corrected like a child who uses incorrect grammar.

“So you’d like a Vente?”

“No, I’d like a medium,” I reply.

“So you’d like a Grande?”

“Hell, I don’t know, but Grande sounds awful large for just a medium.  Is that bucket sized?  Don’t you have anything resembling a little bit larger than a small?”

“That would be a Grande, sir.”

“How can a medium be a Grande?!  It just doesn’t make sense.”

“Would you prefer a Tall?”

“A tall what?”

“Tall is a size, sir.”

“Is it a medium?”

“No, it’s a small.”

“Okay, now you’re just playing with me.  Ha ha.”

“No sir, a Tall is a small.”

“Seriously?!  How can a tall be a small?  That’s impossible.  They have 3 letters in common, but other than that,…nothing.”

“Yes, I know it’s confusing, but a Tall is a small.”

“Oh wait!  I GET it!  It’s that thing kids these days are doing with language, right?  Yeah, even my 9 year old is saying things like, ‘that’s sick,’ meaning ‘that’s awesome.’  Okay, I got it.  Next time I’m here, I’ll just say something like, ‘Yeah dude, I’d like some of that sick tall you got there, just black with no sugar.’”

“Sir, there are people in line.  Shall we call it a Grande for you?”

And then the shame creeps in and I feel about 100 years old.  I’m just an old man, lost in the future, clueless in a place he mistook for a coffee shop.

[to be continued...]


12 thoughts on “April 26 – Day 19 – $tarbucks

      • Mick, I thought I’d learned a lot before I go published. I ignore things I should not have. And one of them was the value of social media. I’m just now giving in to the importance of it. 50,000 daily followers of your blog will get you a deal. However………….. there are other ways. I am in the process of learning them now too.

        Having been a business owner my entire life, I’ll tell you that it is as much work as starting one from scratch. And I’m with you on the eating thing. When the writing doesn’t flow, my body fat is in real trouble. LOL.

        Seriously, you deserve some recognition.

        • Thanks, Dina. I think I would have to pretend to be someone much more famous than me to garner 50,000 followers of my blog. Heck, if I had that, I’d build an army! ;-)

          Thanks, as always, for the kind words of support. If you find a faster way to fame and fortune, drop me a line?



  1. I’ve been in a Starbucks exactly once in my entire life, and only because a company I was freelancing for sent me a $5 Starbucks gift card (for the 5 years that I freelanced with them…) I was not impressed, so I guess I’m not one that fits in with that crowd. I’m okay with that.

    • Thanks for leaving a comment, Gwynne. Do you realize that if we ran off together and you took my last name you would be Gwynne Guinn? If we had had a girl, that was one name I considered because I love alliteration.

      Yeah, $tarbucks is a land unto itself. It’s tricky if you just like black coffee and not all of the 2 dozen kinds of milk, sugar and flavorings.

      Hope you’ll stay tuned for part 2 of this missive. I’m not sure where it’s going, but you could resonate. ;-)

  2. As usual, you make me smile with your slightly off-balance views of the world around us. Although I am also a caffeine aholic, unable to get going without my morning jolt, I have to say that if it was a choice between Starbuck’s regular ground coffee or an apple, I’d choose the apple. But that’s just me, being picky! Thank you for a good laugh on a day when I chose to write a much heavier post than normal. You helped pull me out of a funky mood!

    • My favorite part of your comment is “As usual…” Thank you for hanging in there for this wild experiment in blogdom. I like the “off balance” moniker too. I’m always falling over. I’m always happy to fall over in the service of a higher power (aka: “Laughter”)

      Hope Funky Town was easier for you today. ;-)

  3. Just order a medium. When the correct you, just reply: “Your the expert, just translate it smartly and carry on”.

  4. UK Coffee Week is a charitable campaign! It raises money through the coffee industry to provide clean water projects in Tanzania in partnership with WaterAid. You should have googled it!

    • Hi Emily! Thanks for reading and letting us know about the UK’s charitable campaign during National Coffee Week. It sounds much more enlightened than what we do here in the U.S. I think I should probably have a legal disclaimer somewhere on this site say: “If you’re using this site for real information in the real world, you are in serious trouble.”

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


Leave a Reply