So in the last couple years or so, I’ve had the issue of wanting coffee. It’s pretty stupid actually. I’m lactose intolerant so getting anything with dairy is bad for my stomach….and digestive system….and for making friends. On top of that I dislike straight brewed coffee because my childish taste buds insist on sugary flavors with everything that goes into my mouth. So coffee isn’t the best….and coffee shops are the worst.
I live in Seattle, which is coffee central. Many people just think of Starbucks, and big name coffee places like that, which I admit are pretty nice when you want a sugary, diabetic infused drink on the go. But if you’re a poor, hopeless student like me, you typically go to a small café or coffee shop. And trust me, Seattle has so many you can walk across the street from one to another and the owners are probably friends who met at Bumbershoot or something weird like that.
I love going to get coffee, it’s always an adventure and while I do have my regular small man coffee shop (Milstead all da way!) where the baristas know me by name, I sometimes explore to other places or sell my coffee soul for a quickie at Starbucks. And that’s where the trouble and my brilliant plan unfolds.
Most places take your name if they’re really busy, or if they have an awesome high tech ordering service. I understand if you’re a little frazzled and have been listing peoples names all day long. But I don’t understand how you can ask a persons name, repeat the name, ask if you use a c or a s to spell that name, and still get it totally wrong. For instance, I went in and tried to get a Frappuccino from Starbucks…because like I said, I’m a child. After being assured that he got my name right the barista handed off my drink with the schmuckness
of a toothless hippy (I’m not sure about why I used that one…) I waited for my drink, munching on my cake pop, which are the stupidest things to eat in public by the way. Finally the drink maker came over and called out “Grande cotton candy Frapp for….uhm….Jokkie?”
Not many people can completely make up a name that not only isn’t any were close to a normal name, but is not even a name in itself. The worst part is that I didn’t even notice it was mine. I looked around the shop, waiting to see the poor sap whose parents decided to give them a name like that and then I noticed it was me! On a normal day with my proper sugar intake I would had just waited until they decided to get rid of the drink then ask the guy making the drinks if mine was done yet…I know, cowardly, but safe! But today I was running low and the half dozen doughnuts from the morning weren’t cutti
ng it anymore. So I went up and said a really quite thank you to the confused drink guy and left the place quickly. Maybe I gave the cashier a dirty look….and decided to show him my favorite fingernail that happens to be on my middle finger…and stick my tongue out, because why not go all the way at being unfriendly.
But from that and other times of having my named called and written in stupid ways I discovered that baristas are doing something that normal people have been trying to do for years. Coming up with unusual names and spellings is something everyone wants to do. With millions of people on earth and thousands with your name in your region you need something to make you stand out. For a person who’s last name is Smith, this is imperative! My poor father has gone around getting misrecognized for every Steve Smith in the greater Seattle area. And for some strange reason people with the name Steve Smith seem to always be in trouble. So having a name that’s different can save your child a trip to the courthouse…in the back of a squad car…because a dude with the same name as you committed murder.
So I came up with an awesome idea. Let’s say your pregnant and you and your significant other can’t decided if you should go for Hairrice or Hareiss. You go to this coffee shop, full of well meaning, but busy baristas and you ask for a drink in the name that you want to give your child.
It would be perfect; you can even control the amount of craziness to the name just by reducing the sound of your voice. The more guesswork on the name for the barista, the greater the name. You get coffee, a free name for your upcoming bundle of joy, and enough energy for the rest of the afternoon. But for real…if I don’t start this as a real company, I’m going to name all my children after Starbucks barista spellings gone wrong…cause why not! And that’s my idea for Café La Mystic…your welcome and thank you!