Once every blue moon, a phenomenon occurs in which a happily planned trip to my local coffee emporium goes awry, and the entirety of my wrath is unleashed upon the unsuspecting caffeine distributor who ruined my day by delivering a beverage that does not live up to my standards.
When I go to get a cup of coffee, it isn’t just for my health. I’m addicted to it, so it is only partially for my health. It’s the first step towards a productive day, and the walk up to the entrance itself can be therapeutic.
It isn’t just the energy rush either. Often times, my day can be made or broken by the experience. Many times, a flirty smile from the pretty girl behind the counter (even once or twice a phone number) has put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. However, these baristas are not always pretty, let alone girls.
This hardens the unsuspecting punch to the back of the head that inevitably follows if my patronage lingers long enough: when I ask for an iced coffee, they pour a hot coffee over a mound of sweating ice.
This turns a creamy, monochromatic, ice-cold delight into a two-tone affair between lukewarm coffee and absolutely tepid water. At the point of the transaction when I finally realize the sin that the degenerate slob behind the counter committed, I am long gone, driving around the corner and down the street.
Every time that happens to me, I lose my mind. So far, the only solution to the Bill Bixby reminiscent rage that ensues is to wind up like Roger Clemens and hurl the cup on the ground out front, or against the wall of the building at a speed no less than 40 mph.
How the hell does anybody expect me to refresh myself by consuming the putrid filth of a steamy Ethiopian roast thickly marinating over a lukewarm puddle formerly known as ice. Notice that there was no question mark used, because nobody is unintelligent enough to actually create a drink like that if his or her head is screwed on right.
Another mistake baristas can make is overdoing it with the liquid sugar. It isn’t natural to wince at the pure force of an anticipated bitter liquid stimulant, and then feel the harsh burn in the throat that would come from inhaling the burnt fumes of sugar cane.
I don’t care if it’s embarrassing, but if I bought it at a drive-through and it comes back as sugarcoated as the various Cameron Crowe movies, I will pull a double-back reentry to the drive-thru and demand they step back into the studio and give it another whirl.
It isn’t all bad, however, and when it’s good, I feel like I can see through the trivialities of the rat race of American life into the true divinity of reality. Okay, not quite, but that does go on at the Starbuck’s down by the Fred Meyer in Issaquah—at least from what I’ve heard.