After searching for somewhere to park in downtown Portland for about 25 minutes, I was finally able to go into Starbucks. Right before I get to the entrance I am immediately shoved aside by a latte obsessed homicidal caffeine addict, whose entire world will end if he doesn’t get his coffee 5 minutes sooner than right now. You know, the individual who looks like the hell-spawn demon of death and despair, whose gaze remains fixed on an unknown horizon until they have their first sip of coffee. After watching this lunatic run to the back of the line in front of me, I walked through the door and was immediately eye molested by 5 people sitting in the cozy lounge chairs with their laptops open.
One lumberjack looking younger man in his flannel shirt with suspenders, playing with his handlebar mustache and beard, hid behind his iMac pro as his eyes peeked at me over the top of his computer screen. His eyes piercing at me like my mere presence somehow disrupted the creativity of his indie film script writing.
To the left of the Paul Bunyan was a woman wearing a bright turquoise Northface hikers jacket, with a green scarf wrapped (what had appeared to be) nine times around her neck and chin. Standing there in her corduroy pants and Merrell Grassbow Sport Waterproof Hiking Shoes, this outdoorsy lady held her coffee with her two hands wrapped in multi-colored cotton gloves, as she perched her head over the top of her frothing cup to sip the foam. This woman, who I would assume drives a Suburu Outback, gazed at me in disbelief that I had the audacity to taint her pretentious Starbucks atmosphere with my mere presence.
Over in the back was a sharp dressed business man in his early forties, yelling on his cellphone, while day-trading on his laptop. I don’t believe I existed in his world, but I take no offense. I’m quite certain that nobody did, considering his voice volume showed no consideration for his surroundings, as his abhorrent vexatious laugh cleaved through the ambiance like a knife.
Lastly, at the far table off in the corner were the wannabee Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives committee. You know, the type of women in their late twenties, early thirties, who dress, talk and act like every woman you’ve ever seen on daytime television. Starbucks is where these two women come to deliberate about shampoo products and where to find the best deals on black Friday. Starbucks is the place where these women meet to compare each others husbands, boyfriends, kids and gossip behind the backs of other females they pretend to be friends with. As I walked passed the table of the chattering duo, they immediately began to quiet their conversation to a whisper while rolling their eyes at me. Nothing makes you feel more welcome than the patronizing stare of a couple of yenta queens.
As I proceeded to the line I was behind three customers. In front of me was the despondent caffeine addict who cut me off at the door, who stood behind the hot blonde on her way to the gym. At the counter, in front of the blonde, was the hipster guy who had no idea what a caramel macchiato was, but whose social status would entirely crumble if he purchased coffee anywhere else. As this metro-sexual hipster wearing skinny jeans and rainbow colored Ray Ban wayfarers, finally got to the bottom of what “Grande” means, he ran his card and moved on down the line to receive his drink. The blonde, wearing tight black yoga pants and vintage leather boots that matched her vintage leather jacket, continued to the counter. The creepy guy that stood in front of me began blatantly examining the blondes ass, as she argued with the barista about how they screwed up her previous order. The coffee junkie then turned to me and nodded at me with a smile, as if to signify that this blonde woman’s gorgeous ass accentuated by her yoga pants, was the only thing that could put a smile on his face before having a coffee. I wanted to share in this sentiment, but I was too overwhelmed and put off by her overwhelming sense-of-entitlement, as she verbally besieged the barista in her condescending tone.
After the blonde paid for her order and shuffled off to go get her coffee, the man in front of me ordered his four double espresso shots and moved along. There I was, finally at the counter, when the barista asked me, “what can I get for ya?”
“I’ll take a Grande Cafe Americana with some room for cream”, which is essentially asking for a regular cup of coffee, only the fancy name allows them to charge me $2.00 more.
“What’s your name?” she asked me, with an ‘I can’t wait to go home’ expression on her face.
I responded, “My name is Tommy”
The Barista then quickly ran my debit card and handed me my receipt. I walked over to the counter where you receive your coffee and waited about six minutes. While I waited, I took notice of the barista who had been sweeping the floor the entire time, despite there be nothing on the floor to sweep. When I finally got my coffee, with the name spelled “Timmy” on the side of the cup, I headed over to the coffee condiment station where the counter was covered in a diverse mixture of Splenda powder, cinnamon and sticky coffee stains. I quickly discovered that they were out of half n’ half, milk and vanilla powder.
It was at this point that I decided I would just drink my coffee black. So I took a sip of my burnt flavored coffee that I paid over three dollars for, gave a goodbye nod to the barista who was sweeping the floor, and left.
Add together the inconsistency of Dunkin Donuts, the annoyance of brewing a pot at home, the overpriced K-cups of a Keurig and the experience I just had at Starbucks, and you get the sum of why I go to Cumberland Farms to get my coffee.