Dec 17, 2005

Indiana Jones And The Barrista Of Doom

Sometimes the posts do not come. And sometimes a post comes along that's so thick with branches and subplots and side jokes and closed alleys that I boggle at how I'm going to get it all down without making this into Moby Dick.

So, I trim it. And unfortunately I have to trim this one, because I could go on and on. With luck I can save some of the trimmings for later.

Vulgar Wizard has been trying to get to the Christmas Zoo Lights with her new hubby for a while. Unfortunately, hunting gets in the way of strolls through the zoo, so she got the boot. And being her papa, Irrelephant stepped up to the plate and the wife and I and VW piled in last night to go see the lights. Muy cool.

Now, to add a little flavor to the evening, VW seemed last night to have forgotten how to drive. She would take the turn that put us in the most traffic, or take the long ("scenic") route, and in general she was not having a Mario Andretti sort of evening. Not to fear; cold as it was, we drove all the way to the zoo before deciding that we'd all like some Starbucks. So, giggling wildly, we drove in a big circle through the zoo and back out onto the highway, back to the local coffee bar.

Keep in mind now that Irrelephant is not Coffee People. I love a good cuppa milky Chai, and that's about as far as I go. I simply refuse to grasp the complex language that Coffee People use, nor that lifestyle. I know about it, that's enough for me. So, it was with some small suprise to me that my wife ordered an "Eggnog Chai." Sounded festive, but oh boy.

See, the barrista, he who is supposed to be All Things To All Coffee People, was new. VERY new. Fresh fish new. And he was struggling. No, he was flailing around like a soccer hooligan falling down three flights of stairs. Plus the poor boy was light in the loafers, so all his flailing had a distinctly pansyish flavoring, adding to the general hilarity. We giggled our way through the three people in front of us, they who tried to gentle his spirit through their coffee orders. Then it was our turn. VW got something fairly simple, which he prepared in a little under ten minutes. He seemed to be desperately hung up on the idea of 'whole milk' vs 'skim milk,' asking her twice what her preference was, after she had distinctly ordered skim.

So, the wife steps up, and orders this Eggnog Chai. I swear, the poor boy looked like she had just stuck a pistol in his ribs and demanded all the Guatamala Antigua she could carry. Then he asked her if she was for real. Pointing to the flavor on the menu board convinced him.

In short, the evening progressed as follows:

Order placed: Medium Eggnog Chai, Large Chai. Look of utter panic from barrista. We point at the board. Barrista gets confused over the flavors we ordered, so he marks the cardboard cup sleeves with a Sharpie. Barrista consults the recipe book, and asks "Fully loaded eggnog?" WTF? Eggnog is eggnog unless you've got a liquour license hidden back there somewhere, fairy boy. Loaded, what the hell. Barrista positions cup under pump handle and squirts two huge doses of ORANGE stuff into cup, pumps two doses of some sort of brown stuff in, asks "Whole milk or skim" and proceeds to the steamed milk. At this point through the giggling my wife interrupts by saying "Hey, that's pumpkin."

The fresh fish panics, and says "Yes, it's pumpkin," and holds the jug up so we can all see that it is, in fact, Starbucks 100% Pumpkin Concentrate."

Mrs. Irrelephant says "Uhm...I ordered EGGNOG CHAI."

*comes the dawn*

Starting again, he asks "Whole or skim milk?" Whole, you putz. Heavy eggnog? Sure, WFT. Two squirts of something brown, a huge dash of nog, then an extra shot-glass worth, and then steamed milk. He passes it to the wife and then, miraculously, makes a large chai latte without asking a single question. Infuckingcredible.

Barrista Boy tells the wife about a dozen times through this fiasco that if it's wrong he'll mix it again, and asks her to try it again and again. She sips, smiles, nods, and says "That's fine." I knew something was wrong. Arriving back in the truck, after our giggles had subsided, she asks me to try her tea, because it tasted "a little strange." One sip informed me that she was, in fact, quite correct.

Take one cup of strong (loaded?) eggnog, pour in some whole steamed milk, and then put in two pumps of Starbucks 100% Expresso Concentrate, and you get this horrible coffee-mixed-with-eggs-and-milk concoction that we just paid about $4 for.

Oh My Sweet Stars And Garters.

Gamely she tried to drink it, but after four or five sips it went in the nearest dustbin, along with her composure and her stomach's well being.



My goodness Mrs. Irrelephant wnat a horrible beginning to the Christmas zoo lights. I hope you finally got a good eggnog.


Vulgar Wizard said...

She never did get a good egg nog. All she got was a stomach ache. I went to Starbucks again Sunday morning. The Barrista from Hell was nowhere to be found. I didn't inquire, was just glad to get a cup of white chocolate mocha that actually TASTED like coffee and not just hot, steamed skim milk with whipped cream on top. OH, the caffeine!!!! Praise Buddha!