“What can I get you?” Asks the girl behind the counter at starbucks. I try to avoid Starbucks wherever possible, but sometimes you just want to sit in a coffee house and it’s not like there’s a spectacular choice here in the UK, especially at 6:30pm on a Friday.

“I’ll get one of those I think.” I say as I point to the poster of the daily offering on the wall behind the counter. Enjoy a Cinnamon Dolce Latte, is says. It looks okay, though that whipped cream is probably not the healthiest choice I could make, but then it’s Friday, so this is the weekend, and weekends are set aside for indulgences, right?

“What size would you like, love?” She asks. I’m not great with choices. It’s a terrible affliction for a person living in this day and age to have. Mocha, latte, flavor, size, stay in, or to go, these are all choices and even if I’ve had plenty of time I still find myself feeling caught like a rabbit in the glare of a cars headlights as it speeds toward me.

“Oh.. err…. well now I can’t remember what the sizes are. You have funny words for them don’t you?” She picks up the mugs and shows me with a broad smile and theatrical pose. Her colleague adds that she just calls them small, medium, or large, “Because people understand that don’t they.”

“I’ll get the small then, or tall if you like.” I say. She repeats my order and her colleague tells me the price. “Can I pay with my card?” I ask. “Oh I don’t know, should we let him pay with his card Jeanine?” She mischievously asks the girl making the drink who just laughs. “Yes love, you can pay with your card.” I put it in the machine and she says “Lets have your number then hun.” The girl making my drink breaks out laughing as the cashier follows that with “I mean put your pin number in the machine, but you can give me your number if you like love.” More laughter as the barrister exclaims “Carly, you’re terrible you are!” Ah yes, the Friday evening flirt. Fridays are great aren’t they.

I take my drink, which has been up-sized to a large by the way, and find an armchair by the window. This particular Starbucks is inside a Borders book store so I’ve picked up a copy of ‘The Gum Thief‘ by Douglas Coupland. My plan is to read at little of it, but in reality I’m just here to chill out for a while, so I’ll probably not read much at all before returning the book to the shelf and heading home.

The familiar coffee house machine noises fill the air as the barrister calls out various drinks in a loud voice to people waiting at the end of the bar for their drinks. She probably doesn’t need to shout that loudly, but for all I know it could be a company policy to holla out the names of tasty sounding drinks in an effort to implant the menu into our subconscious.

I read the first few pages of the book. I like Douglas Coupland, though I have the attention span of a 3 year old in places like this. I’m watching people scurry past in purposeful strides, looking at the couples wondering how they met, and yes, I’ll confess I’m also checking out the pretty girls looking in the shop window across the way.

The book is interesting, maybe I’ll buy it and read more of it while lounging on my couch over the weekend. That sounds like a good idea. Oh but ouch! It’s £10.99! A paperback book surely can’t cost £10.99! I wonder, is it this price because it’s a good book, or is this the price of books these days?

It’s a Grand Prix weekend too, the first of the season in fact, so the truth is that my couch time over the weekend will likely be spent watching formula one race cars drive around the circuit in Melbourne, Australia. I’d like to think I could watch the race then read the book, but who am I trying to kid.

A fat lady waddles past the window. I don’t mean to stare but my goodness that is a huge ass! How does a person drag an ass that big around with them? It almost looks as if she’s got other things stuffed into the side of her pants there. I wonder, are fat asses more comfortable to sit on than regular asses? I appreciate this really isn’t highbrow coffee house thinking, but that really is a huge ass and as she walks it looks like a pillow fight taking place under a blanket.

A man in a suit walks past holding a bunch of flowers. He looks very serious which makes me wonder if that’s an apologetic bouquet rather than a romantic gesture? In the other direction two girls walk together both thumbing their mobile phones and not talking to one another, they’re oblivious to the young man walking past them, his head turning to check them out from behind as they pass him. He then sees me looking at him and we both look away, busted!

I take a sip of my drink. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can drink this without getting the whipped cream on my nose. “Tall cappuccino, tall lattee.” Shouts a barrister.

It’s getting much busier now. I think I’ll read some more of ‘The Gum Thief.’ Maybe I will buy it. But then again it’s £10.99! Oh decisions decisions.

Starbucks gossip
Starbucks ‘f*ck off’ logo
The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
Douglas Coupland’s website
Another reason to hate Starbucks
McCorporation Nation
Long hours little pay
Atomic Cafe
It’s seven thirty