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John Wayne's Holster: Starbucks Made Me a Junkie
John Wayne's Holster
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Friday, July 07, 2006

Starbucks Made Me a Junkie

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I hate paying bills. Sure parting with my greenbacks sucks, but that is not the part that bothers me. After all, I am paying for stuff I bought (at least I think so). Anyway, what I really hate is going over all those statements. Usually, I do not pay much attention to them. I just look for the little box that states how much I owe, and I write a check and toss it in the mailbox.

Well, I ain't exactly rich and I have been running low on funds recently. I decided that I really have to start cutting my costs. So I went over my credit card statements for the last several months to see where all my money goes. Actually my wife went over them and pointed out my excesses for me - wives are good at that sort of thing. When my wife approached me with a scowl on her face, I initially thought she discovered the $29.95 monthly fee that I have been discreetly paying to CyberNet Ventures. Thankfully, it was only about my monthly Starbucks bill.

Over the past several months, I have spending about $80/month on coffee. What the f#@k! Eighty bucks! For friggin' coffee?

I was suprised it was so much. I didn't think I spent more that $75/month, but I guess all the venti coffees, blueberry scones and black-bottom cupcakes add up. The other part of the problem is that Starbucks coffee is so damn expensive to start with - almost $2/cup. And that's just for straight-up coffee, not for the fruity frappuccinos or limp-wristed lattes they peddle.

So why the hell do I keep going back? Certainly it is not the atmosphere. The AC is turned so low, my nipples practically tear through the front of my Johnny Cash T-shirt. The music usually sucks too - how much Antigione Rising can one guy take? It's not for the brain-farts featured on the side of their paper cups. And it is certainly not for the people that work there. Sure they are all friendly - but they are way too friendly - almost like Mormons-on-Prozac friendly. It kinda creeps me out. Yeah, the women that work there tend to be tasty looking, but the fellas that work there make me uncomfortable. It's not that I have anything against gay people, in fact, if Kurt Cobain is right, I am probably gay too. Its more about how they act and dress. It's like you have to be a metrosexual or something to get hired there. Can't they find any real people - like disgruntled college students with attitudes - to work there?

So if it is not the atmosphere, the music, or the people - what is it? I think it is the drugs. I read somewhere that each 16 oz. cup has over 220 mg of caffeine - twice as much as a normal cup of coffee. There are also the persistent rumors that the baristas toss a few crack rocks in the brew basket. Whatever it is, it has me hooked. Personally, I am leaning toward to crack theory. Their coffee really eases the craving for crystal meth that I developed in college.

My buddy suggested that I switch over to a different brand of coffee. Well I tried that and I couldn't make it work. There is a Peet's coffee here on the Penn State campus. Sometimes I go there after lunch if I need to tweak my buzz. But their cup o' joe is just not the same. I have also tried a few of the trendy off-campus shops, down on Beaver Avenue. Sorry, not the same. Starbucks really knows how to burn their coffee right. Its practically all carbon - like a slurry of charcoal briquettes. In reality, it does not even taste all that good. But if I don't get my fix, I get all cranky, I get headaches, backpain, insomnia and the like. Unfortunately, I don't get erections lasting over four hours, like you get with some other drugs out there.

I am ashamed to admit it, but I think I have become a caffeine junkie. All my money goes to feeding my head. Maybe I should buy some Starbucks stock to at least recoup some of my expenses.


At 6:33 PM, Anonymous brad said...

Peet's Coffee has 20% more caffeine (on average) than Starbucks. And they hire more normal coffee-shop people-you know my friends, the freaks and hippies. Also, while Starbucks bullies out every last java shop in town, Peet's has kept a higher quality, lower volume approach to their business.
But the java junkie thing-I feel ya. If I don't have a double dose daily I might as well check in to treatment facility for dt's. I'm grumpy f%@k if I don't get my fix. Maybe a prescription norepinehprine drug would be cheaper and less harmful in the long run.

At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Blaez said...

i love your crack theory. thats hilarious.

but ya, starbucks is pretty awesome where the coffee is concerned. sweet bay is too and thier a little less expensive than starbucks. if you find a sweet bay, try em out for size.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

Love the comedy Joe! (Mormons on prozac) But seriously I quit my Starbucks addiction about 4-5 months ago. I bought my self a bean grinder and mix a dark roast with a flavored roast and am subsequently hooked on that.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Cowboy Blob said...

Back at my old office, all the Yuppie ladies would come in with their Starbucks in the morning while my married male boss and I (cheap-ass that I am) would take turns bringing in bags of Dunkin Donuts or Millstone coffee for the office pot. We were the middle tier of coffee snobs at the company, since there was free Folgers in the kitchens on every floor. I can't see paying major dough for the extra trouble of a trip to a coffee boutique, though I likes me my good coffee.


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