It wasn’t the first time he had privately entertained the possibility that aliens could be the controlling agency behind the Starbucks phenomenon. Ludicrous, he thought. Absurd, he said to himself. He didn’t even know that he believed in extra terrestrials. Well he did actually, but he couldn’t be sure that they had visited our little patch of paradise in the galaxy, much less have infiltrated Starbucks. My God what people will believe…he thought this to himself also. But there was that Phoenix lights thing. I mean, like thousands of people saw that, right? He’d even seen the video of those strange celestial formations taking shape over that desert metropolis. Something was surely parading itself with intentional fanfare and he found laughable the government claim that it was all just military flares.
This kind of thing grated on him constantly… dumb, implausible explanations by supposed authority figures or agencies. Even more befuddling to him was that there was a certain mentality in the human psyche that sat rapt like a trained pup, ready to eagerly swallow any tidbit of comforting explanation that was tossed down by these presumed benevolent purveyors of (dis)information. This attitude pervaded so many aspects of life for those disposed to this gullible and incurious way of thinking. Religion. Education. Commerce. Morality. How so many people could willingly allow their opinions and viewpoints on these and other important subjects to be spoon fed to them by someone else was a disgrace.
How did I even get on this train of thought? he asked himself. Oh yeah, Starbucks and aliens. It could be possible. $2.45 for a clear plastic cup with some ice and green tea inside? And what was tea when one really thought about it? Water! So $2.45 for a throw-away cup full of flavored water. That wasn’t even the kicker though. One could procure this exact green tea from any grocery store for about $3.40 a box. A box made about twenty cups of tea, or ten the way he used it. No matter how one sliced it he had just paid one dollar less for a single cup of tea than he could have paid for ten cups of tea.
He pondered this and all the sub-thoughts that went along with it. Shame. Guilt. Embarassment. These all naturally flowed as he remorsefully contemplated his actions. And the really bad part? He had that same tea at home, readily available and easy to prepare. Home was less than seven minutes away. But by some act of demonic influence or alien possession he had just paid $2.45 for this cup of tea. WTF? He thought. What’s become of me? Damn, I’m starting to think in text messaging! This troubled him further.
One could lament over this sort of thing for hours if allowed to indulge and wallow in self-pity. He knew this and disciplined himself to move on mentally. But the episode did solidify the alien possibility in his mind. He had just willingly engaged in a bizarre, irrational, and disconcerting act that worked directly in the interest of Starbucks and against his. What kind of otherworldly voodoo could be responsible for this?
And have you seen the people that work at Starbucks? So annoyingly perky with that tenuous façade of cool trendiness. Who would intentionally act this way in public? He scolded himself for being so judgmental. They’re just people, he thought to himself. Just doing their job. They probably have new hire orientation classes where they teach the Starbucks attitude.
“Whatsup dude. What can I get started for you today?” Well gee dude, why dontcha go right ahead and just yank my wallet out of my back pocket and then smack me upside the head for good measure…okay? Thank you. I’ll pop back in tomorrow so we can do this again.