My salad dressing days


The modern world is too complicated
August 8, 2005, 8:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon and Mr Chick and I are hankering after a coffee to sip in the park. He requests a Skinny Mocha Frappacino (me, I’m a gal with simple tastes: blend of day, add your own milk). So I tootle off to Starbucks, where I jostle with the generous helping of foreign tourists who come free with every UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Me (to myself): Skinny. Mocha. Frappacino. Skinny. Mocha. Frappacino. Skinny Mocha…shit! What size?

[Of course, it would be too too simple just to call them Small, Medium and Large, so I have to squint at the board to see what Small is these days. Tall, apparently. Tall is the new Small.]

Me (to myself): Skinny. Mocha. Frappacino. Tall. No, Tall should come first. Tall. Skinny. Mocha. Frappacino.

[Begin to lose the will to live.]

I am then cruelly distracted by the woman in front who is ordering a Venti [default Full Fat] Chocolate Frappacino No Cream (oh, go on, have the cream forgodssakes, I think) and a Tall Americano (mmmm, I could just fancy me one of them…) with shot of [insert implausible flavour] syrup.

Jeeez, what did Mr Chick want??

Er…Mocha! Skinny! Um…Frappa…

Barista (no common-or-garden waiters these): Yes?

Me: Um, this bottle of water [I chicken out at the last minute – thinking up two coffee orders might just tip me over the edge] and a [**takes deep breath**]…Frappacino! Mocha! Skinny!

Barista: What si…?

Me: Tall! Tall! Tall!

Barista: So, a Mocha Frap Lite?

Me: What? What? Er, yes. Tall! Did I say Tall? Tall!

[Exchange of notes and coinage acquired through minor win on the lottery as is necessary to buy Starbucks coffee.]

I shift along to the counter and join four others waiting for their orders.

The barista is a very tall Chinese guy with a hard-to-decipher accent. Not a great start. Imagine myself walking away with a Camomile Tea (Grande) owing to sudden attack of English embarrassment.

Barista: Mokk’ Frap Lite?

Me: Yeeeeeeeeees!

[Wipes away cold sweat beads on forehead, grabs coffee and gets the heck outta there.]

How did coffee-buying get so darn complicated?

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14 Comments so far
Leave a comment

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. I live in Seattle where all the foolishness started. Barista, oh please. *not intended to offend anyone who might be serving me a grande single nonfat latte in near future* xoxoxo

Comment by mireille

Mr. Chick here. Be thankful I’m dieting. I very nearly asked you to get me a vente mint mocha chip frappuccino with whipped cream, caramel affogato and a double shot.

Remember too that before long the chicklets will be wanting their own mini banana nut frappucino crèmes. Or maybe not. Probably one will want the banana nut and the other will want a 12oz strawberry triple thick shake from McDonalds. Which will present us with another problem. Hey ho.

Comment by Mr. Chick

That’s why I make one of my co-workers do the Starbucks run. I just tell him, “Get me that thing I like.” Sorry, but I can’t see your picture either!

Comment by Jenny G

I have decided to disregard the “tall, grande, venti” crud, and I order a small, med. or large. Every little stinking coffee shop seems to think it needs its own cutesy size labeling, and I am tired of trying to keep them all straight. I just can’t be expected to be able to remember it all BEFORE I’ve even had the damn coffee.

Comment by katiedid

Hilarious! And so true, especially in Cambridge, where all the baristas are foreign… I have no problem with that, but if you’re taking orders that don’t sound English to begin with, a lack of the grasp of English is no help to anyone…

Comment by Hannah

Honestly, dear, when you’re my age and a tad hard of hearing, can’t see without your specs and don’t even know what a skinny latte looks like, just take a flask.

Comment by motherhen

Oh my Gosh, you are so right!! Starbucks has taken a very simple concept and turned it into a timid consumer’s nightmare!

Thanks for the laugh! I’ll have to show my hubby this post, he’ll get a huge kick out of it!

Comment by GodlessMom

Have you seen the “helpful” booklet they were giving out a little while ago? It tells you the meaning of every Starbucks adjective and it’s priority when placing an order.
Go out and get one. It was so useful. *rolls eyes*

Comment by natasha

*heh* Motherhen has a great sense of humor. *flask* *heh*

Comment by mireille

That’s why half the time I just order a hot chocolate!

Comment by Atreau

I can’t believe a sophisticated, computer-literate lady like yourself has so much trouble ordering coffee. The solution is simple – tell the others to bloody well order their own! Well, that’s what I’d do anyway.

Good post. It’s a sign of class when such a mundane experience is written about in such an interesting way.

Comment by Swifty

This post is excellent! 🙂

Comment by Kate

Thanks for the laugh. My hubs drink is an Iced Grande Hazelnut Latte, and mine is a Grande blended, two-pump raspberry, two-pump mocha. 🙂

Comment by Kami

Happy holidays!

Comment by Sean Deiter




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