Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Star Bucks Inc.

                    "Coffee first--than your mundane B.S.!"
                       "Coffee --It helps you go poop!"


   My best friend is coffee and I will be posting about it often I am sure.  In fact a lot of my posts will probably come to me while I am sipping coffee.  I actually hated the brew of the Gods, before moving to the Great North West.  Every winter day in the area seems dark and gloomy and there is a different great coffee joint about every five feet.   Better  coffee places are abound   beyond Star Bucks, but like Wally World they are everywhere!  I believe that in Seattle, WA you can sit in a S Bucks on a four way corner, and look into three other S Bucks.  They will soon have to open them in the restrooms of current shops for more customer penetration.  I was definitely the tourist last time in Seattle, and visited the first ever Star Bucks.  Something that shouldn't be as thrilling.   I will talk about coffee and that trip more soon.   Here is a short story I wrote about two years ago.       

                                                  Star Bucks Inc

First S Bucks in Seattle, WA


   As I was laying there in bed, I instantly awoke with a start.  Slightly sweating.  Not from fear, but from the shear heat the desert has to offer, even well before noon.  I was having that dream again.  Were you awake just before falling off a huge cliff.  It always makes one wake up to quickly and not in the best mood.  I glanced over at my fiance huddled in a ball near the headboard, head just visibly peeking out of the mounds of bedding.  Despite the early morning heat, she felt naked without a blanket at all times of slumber.  My head still groggy, I laid back down.  Usually a big mistake.  We owned an overly comfortable bed.  Today sleep was over.  I could only think about huge rain drops, waterfalls, and vast oceans stretching as far as the eye could see.  And than just a little further.  After falling over the cat, who meowed very loudly and than just stared up at me.  Daring me to kick him off of the warm spot.   Stepping right into our dogs favorite watering hole.   Now I was very awake.   Now I was craving coffee.  I could cut off all other caffeine in the day, but needed that morning wake me up.  Maybe those around me needed me to have it more.  I now believe that coffee is my bestest friend.  It is always there for me, never talks back, and always gives o so much, asking for nothing in return!
    I was overly impressed on a trip to Seattle after visiting the very first Star Bucks ever built.  And scared an elderly couple, simply asking them to take my picture in front of the sacred building.  I had lived near Seattle for six years, and the muddy liquid helped me dread the constant rain less and added to my webbed feet, I am sure.   Mmmmmmm coffee, I was now thinking as I surfed the endless masses of ads on my television.  “Never have nothing to watch again on TV,  My ass!”  By the time I flipped through all the channels, it was time for the next set of mindless drivel filled shows to come on.  I jumped up, threw the remote at the couch and went back to the bedroom.  Was the amazingly comfy bed calling my name again?  I quickly and soundlessly grabbed something presentable to wear and then stood over the bed.  I chose my steps to the bed wisely to avoid all the loose floor boards.  As I stood over my future wife, I smiled.  She, like the kids, looked so peaceful while sleeping.  Bending over I gave her a quick peck on the forehead.  She gently stirred and stared, glassy eyed into my face.  I started to straighten, as the love of my life, grabbed my neck and pulled me down on the bed.  We kissed deep and then I tickled my way out of her embrace, and bed.  Replacing my now empty perch with George the cat.   I glanced back  as the two snuggled and motion soon slowed from each.

    Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee!  Is all I could mutter to myself while I quickly tried to wrestle my shoes back from the mutt.  Our rust bucket of transportation started on the first try for once.  I could not knock the old car too much, it had only cost $600 and had driven across Arizona about 22 times.  It also always got me to coffee.   From the first drive by, the coffee joint did not look all that busy.  That was an illusion.   We did not have a real sit down  S Bucks, it was a condensed version inside a supermarket.  And the lines usually stretched to the front door for those waiting for their morning pick r ups!  Today was certainly no miracle short line.  10, 12, 17 people ahead of me, O is to early for this!”  Apparently I said this out loud.  I started to laugh if off, but the laugh seemed to twist into my crazy person laugh.  Unfortunately people just slightly turned around and stared.  No one left the line screaming.  “have to draw a line on the ground to see if this line is moving!”  I said to some stiff office worker type just in front of me.  He cam back with “The line is moving , just in the wrong way, I swear.”  We both uttered actual laughs.  People around us giggled under their breath, pretending not to listen to our morning pearls of wisdom.  And although the time should be passing quickly, we don’t seem to be moving up in line.  I wondered out loud to my new buddy, whom I will probably never see again, what it would be like if the green caped workers were like the soup Nazi on Sienfield.  “those first three would get no beverages.  The person a t the  front of the line is busy telling the workers how they are making her coffees wrong.  Yes coffees, she is apparently the gopher for the entire office.  “No coffee for you!  You way to picky I work here, I don’t see a green cap on your head un-pretty lady!  The office worker utters a little too loudly.  The gopeher glares us both down.  As a few people step to the side to avoid her evil eye.   She will make a great x wife some day.  One worker can’t hold his laughter as he mixes yet another drink for her.  
    All four workers start to yell out what they are mixing or making.  As they mix their drink orders.  The gopher gave up on us for the moment and rests her  elbows on the counter watching each drink very carefully  “the workers may suddenly forget how to make coffee, I hope that lady sticks around and monitors our drinks too.”  I say.  The gopher holds up her hand to the coffee barista and actually comes back to both of us.  She is a menacing 120 pounds soaking wet.  Her hair is going in every direction, with the only part staying in place under her huge sunglasses.   The gopher is dressed very nicely, and she has the hip sway down to an art as she walks.  Too bad sh was coming toward us angerly.   She stopped right in front of us both and just stares for way too long.  I was waiting on advice on how to dress.  “I will let you both know,  I used to own a coffee shop and took great pride in making the best drinks in town, because of the way they were made.”  “Used to own is the key words.”  My new best buddy and hopefullprotector  says.  “Why do you not own now?  Actually who cares, just let these people do their job, and us get to our coffee before our withdrawals worsen.”   The trained professionals seem happy someone is sticking up for them, or are just happy something actually is happening in their store.  Making drinks for crabby people all day must be slightly depressing.  Even with the workers keeping an amused eye on us and store security starting to circle, just in case.  The gophers orders were ALL done.  “Order for Lewis, very large order for Lewis!”
   Standing inches from the business mans face, hands slightly shaking she seems to have more to say, but is in a conflict.  Say the rest of her peace and hold up the line even longer or retrieve her drinks.  She spins, heads for the counter, head held high.  Takes her drinks exactly five steps to the closest table.  Half of the people in line start to clap.  Ten more people, and I can have my caffeine!  At the table the gopher starts to taste test each and every drink in her possession.  We can now lay witness that the line is starting to move.  More people are still joining the line than leaving, but they are behind us.  This is taking an abnormally long time, and I had hoped to stare at the morning paper for awhile before returning home with a drink for my girl frein and three mini hot chocolates for the rat loads.  It was a very small town, village almost that we resided in and extremely entertaining most days to see what constituted news.  If today’s episode had suddenly turned south, we probably would have made Tuesdays issue. 
    The next couple up simply ordered house coffees.  So, simple and quick.   But yet so satisfying.  Eight more!  My new buddy and I start to ad lib what the customers were saying at the counter.  Neither of us ever ordering very complicated beverages, it was all gobble-gook to us anyway.  “hello fine sir, I would like a double shot La T Da hold the ice, add a half shot of Joe, minus the real moo juice with a side of flam!”  I announce as the next customer quickly orders.  7!  “good mornings don’t start till noon, but my extra poofy koon sack latte on rye with double straws and extra caffeine, whipped not mixed will help!”  The business man fake orders.   Getting closer!  Production hit’s a short lull as the next breakie is decided.  But a refreshed worker joins the ranks soon after and the line seems to actually even move.  Have I before mentioned that pre coffee politeness is far over rated?   I don’t care if you are the rudest coffee provider in the world, as long as you have a coffee ready for me right after I pay.  People serving extremely hot beverages are rarely rude.  The same should go for the persons receiving the hot beverages. 
    Three more people in front of me, the day is looking up already!  The next two customers are extremely quick.  The business man, we will call him Brian simply because that is his name, grins wide and starts the now short journey to the counter.  Just as he is steps away we hear the extra loud screech from the gopher, who has somehow made it from her table to the counter in two steps.  Just squeezing in before Brian can finish saying “hell…”  It came out something gargled between “hell and  ah hell.”   Some people just behind us grab a chair but are still in line. 
    “This double stuffed/stirred frappe con swalla tastes like a regular cup of coffee!  I will not pay twelve dollars for a simple cup of joe….”   So close to caffeine I can almost taste it.  I am almost ready to just ask for a handful of coffee grounds to tide me over.  Almost is the key word.  I am now biting my tongue to keep quiet so hard it is slightly bleeding.  Brian looks like he is ready to cry.  He is only on a company break.  I glance up at the un lucky worker at the register who looks like he is minutes away from quitting.  The other workers huddle in the far corner of the box, extra interested in the current drink orders.  She hold the drink very high above her head, almost as if she is gonna dump it on the workers head.  Thus the last reference of polite coffee baristas.  She soon calms down as the teen offers to re make her order and give her a few free drinks next time.  Probably hoping she would return when he was off work or had a new job. 
    I start to slightly pace back and forth while holding my place in line, not unlike a  tiger in a cage.   Brain completely turns around and seems to be waiting for my smart ass to say something.  I am wearing a T with a large picture of a donkey on it, stating “I’m a smart one!” in bold.  A small trickle of blood streams out of my mouth.  “Auuuuuughererrrr freakin, Blah!”  is all I manage to mutter at first.  Everyone behind the counter pauses, and the teen lets out a mixed laugh/sigh of relief as the gopher turns to stare at me.  “Do you have something to say to me young man?”  She can’t be any older than myself, I just have a very young face.  “This is not Burger King.”  I simply grunt through clenched teeth.  “Excuse me?”  Is all she returns with.  A very confused slightly worried look on her face.  Brian seems to be enjoying this way more than I am.  He grabs a nearby chair and plops down, inches from the pair of us dueling tongues.  “I’m not sure there is an excuse for you ma’am…..   Brian starts to move his chair back.   “I simply stated that this is not Burger King.  Where you get it your way.  This is Star Bucks were you get it his way or the highway!  My three year old even knows that you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.  Thanks for playing!”  Using all of my best lines in a row was very tiring, but surprisingly satisfying.  Kind of like going to Burger King!  “Stepping to the side, and politely asking for your perfect drink while the rest of us could order ours would be the civil thing to do.  Instead you chose to tie myself and these fellow line mates up, deprived of essential caffeine.  Because obviously you and your drinks are the most important nouns in this store.  In a society where you are part of a community, one must act as part of the structure, not the single inity.  So please, finish your re-order, take your free coupons, and have a wonderful day some were else.”  Brian jumps up and starts to clap.  The other patrons are very busy trying to look like they are shopping for the perfect coffee mug. 
    Surprisingly the gopher just stares at the floor.  She pops back into the real world, opens her mouth, pauses and turns back to the counter.  “Thank you”  she utters, and than walks off with none of the coffees.  “Ummm the next twelve coffees are free!”  The teen at the counter exclaims.  He’s still greatly considering unemployment as it is.  Brian returns to the counter grabs a free drink and offers to buy myself anything I desire.  I swear the teen behind the counter, I can now read his name is Sam, is whistling the wicked witch is dead.  I thank Brian as he hastily exits to return to work.  Than slip around the corner to sweeten my drink.  I took Brain up on his offer, but only took a large regular cup of joe.  To not take advantage of his generosity.  Not positive why, I would probably never see him again, and if nothing else he got a great free show.  So close to enjoying my coffee, the steam is filling my nose, as I walk a large smile spreads across my face.  Even with the extremely slow service, I am holding an extra large very free cup of coffee.  And what could really beat that?  I simply just need to dip in some creamer.  Again easier said than done.  But of course after the last few minutes, I am much calmer.  Something about telling people were to go is a great stress reliever.  Just around the corner was the famed counter filled with all the coffee sweeteners one could wish for. 
    Actually getting to the counter was usually another story.  Ahead of me were only two patrons, but it was a small counter.  And they had set up camp.  Both were tying up the entire space mixing and than sipping, mixing some more.  It was like watching someone try to mix the perfect Martini on the first attempt.  Five an a half packets of sugar, sip  three dips of creamer, some honey, sip sip  dump some coffee out cause now it is to full.  Ohhh! Dumped out just a wee to much, now the mix is all off!  I fight back the urge to start another gargled yell deep in my throat.  Instead I watch and wait, again slightly pacing back and forth as the duo in famously make the best dam drink ever known to man.  The fact that like them, I am holding free coffee keeps me calmer.  I take a sip as I wait.  Very warm!   Also very black.  All I need is creamer.  I start to visualize myself dumping the extra hot beverage equally over each’s heads.  Asking what my coffee needs to taste just right as I do so.  I can feel my lips curl into a cheese ball smile.  As I glance up, I notice the two people at the counter have switched.  I also realize I forgot to buy a paper to stare at while I was in line.  But the one drinker is almost done with his brew and seems to be a free local paper by the wobbly chairs set aside for sipping.  Minutes away from caffeine zen.  I can even see myself enjoying the drink in my head.  As I glance up again, two more customers are at the mile bar.  I suddenly don’t even need creamer.  I slowly drift to the seat with the newspaper.  It is the local paper so very thin,  But after staring at the pictures, I can people watch and recollect on how difficult it was to get to this very spot in time and life this morning.  And how totally worth it.  “Cheers!”

My delivers here!

Too much Coffee!!

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