Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Latte Politics

The other day, I stopped in to a cafe I visit occasionally, looking for a quick coffee. I placed my order, but background noise kept me from making out some additional bit of information that had never been required before. The conversation went something like:

Barista: “So, would you like WHZZZRRRRvroom? Or regular?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Barista: “WVZZZZZZ? Or regular?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Barista: “FrZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ? Or regular?”

Conscious of the growing queue behind me, and guessing that we were having some kind of conversation about the size of my coffee, I opted for what I thought was the safe, neutral option: “Uh… I’ll have a regular.”

My safe, neutral answer, however, earned me a startled dirty look from the barista. I then had to suffer through the scorn of the next two people in line, who both decided it was appropriate to look directly at me while saying, “Well… I’ll have the fair trade coffee, thanks…”

I returned to the same coffee shop this morning, to find that my autonomous decision-making skills are no longer trusted at this establishment: I placed my order, only to have the barista inform me: “You’ll have fair trade coffee.”

Yes sir. And like it.

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