A Starbucks Script: as told by baristas

What would the script look like if Starbucks baristas could make an honest welcome video? Probably something like this…

Manager/barista: “Hello, welcome to America’s favorite barely-coffee shop. Fall is only nine months away, so that could mean just one thing: you’re wanting to order a pumpkin spice salted caramel chai mocha frappuccino. Let me get that started for you. Your total today is a mere $25.73.”

Barista 1: Many customers comment that it’s hard to remember what our sizes are. Here’s a tip to help you remember: tall is small (and small is tall), venti is plenty, and at only 12,000 calories, grande is…just right.

Barista 2: All baristas love making frappuccinos. In fact, we look forward to when school goes back so that we can see the kids before and after school each day ordering the ten-step drink and spending their parents’ money wisely.

Barista 3: We pride ourselves on adhering to the recipe for every drink. But there’s a secret ingredient only a select few get. Ever wondered if your drink was made with our secret ingredient? (As we say, “Out of the mouths of baristas.” [Wink, wink.]) Well, it’s all in how you ordered. This very special ingredient is added to every drink ordered with the word, “Gimme,” or if you ordered without eye contact, or if you interrupted after asking the barista how they were. Basically, an easy way to know is to ask yourself, “Did my attitude—and tip—essentially say, ‘Just make my drink, subclass peon’?”

Barista 1: Did you know…perching by the counter, staring holes into baristas while waiting for them to make your drink, contrary to popular belief, does not shave .3 seconds off your order. If you would like your quad-shot, breve, sugar-free vanilla with two Splenda, extra-hot, grande in a venti cup, caramel macchiato (with extra caramel) to be made quickly, please stand patiently at a distance, preferably with a gentle—but not creepy—smile.

Barista 2: It’s always acceptable to ask us for more cream if the half and half pitcher is empty. What we ask you not to do is turn the creamer counter into a sandbox of sugar and cinnamon and vanilla bean powder. Let’s keep happy hour happy.

Manager: As baristas, we know that coffee in the morning is more important than national security, nuclear threats, and the economic climate combined. So, from all of us, we hope you enjoy your precious brew, knowing that a poverty-level barista with shattered hopes in humanity woke at 4:30 a.m. so you didn’t have to flip a switch on your own coffee pot.

The First/Last Christmas Tree

It was December and I was wearing shorts and sunscreen. There’s something wrong with this picture, I thought.

My family and I had just traded hemispheres, and this was our first Christmas Down Under. Only a couple weeks before, my parents, older brother, and I had stepped off the plane from the States onto New Zealand soil, where we planned to settle.

Christmas in summer was the new normal. Gulp.

When in Rome, right? Barbeque for Christmas dinner? Of course! Go to the beach after opening “prezzies?” Why not? Watch the Queen’s address after tea—naturally! Continue reading “The First/Last Christmas Tree”

The Martian Nativity

No one knew when it had started. Or why. But everyone suspected who…and that’s why no one attempted to change it.

We called it “The Martian Nativity.”

In my church—which I dearly loved—we kept a closet of Christmas decorations. Only the Lord and possibly a retired custodian knew how long some of those items had been there for…or from whence they had come. Deep in the recesses resided Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. They seemed like perfectly normal lawn ornaments: a dull plastic, hollow for illumination, and who knows how old. Every Christmas they were automatically propped front and center on the elevated platform, from the week after Thanksgiving until somewhere after the new year. Continue reading “The Martian Nativity”