Starbucks Pollutes The Lion’s Neighborhood. Clean Up Your Act, Coffee Bastards!

Every morning The Lion gambols a hundred yards across the parking lot to the Starbucks coffee store to buy a newspaper. Once in a great while he’ll buy a coffee, not because Starbucks makes such good coffee though. The truth is that The Lion makes better coffee in his little one cup Chemex after grinding beans in a Braun grinder and adding spring water to the mix.

This morning, after making a nice cuppa, The Lion noticed that the cream he added to his coffee had curdled. Certain that George Bush was somehow responsible, The Lion said ‘Screw this!’ and headed over to Starbucks.

As he stepped through the back gate he noticed immediately a line of cars- no, not cars, SUVs, and not cheap SUVs – in the drive-up lane, six of them, except the last, which was a bright orange, beat up, diesel pickup truck whose engine was so loud the driver had to turn it off to call his order into the microphone, after which he started the beast up again.

All the SUVs sat there, engines running, waiting for their precious lattes and grandes and christ knows what else. They were not unlike pigs lined up for their turn at a one-pig feeding trough.

Naturally The Lion made rude remarks as he walked by, but given the sound of their engines and the fact that they all had closed their windows, The Lion doubts they heard a thing.

About fifteen minutes later, The Lion, after waiting patiently for the dumbass tourists inside the store to order and pay for their exotically ridiculous drinks, left with his cup of plain coffee and a wonderfully tasty and fattening cinnamon twist. The profound question rattling around in The Lion’s old brain was, “Don’t any of you frigging idiots just drink coffee anymore? You have to gussy it up like a cheap whore before you’ll drink it?” It really shouldn’t take fifteen minutes to get coffee for five people.

Anyway, The Lion wended his grumbling way back across the parking lot to his gate. Before going through the fence, he looked back at Starbucks, and there, just then, the orange pickup truck was finally driving up to the window to get his goods.

That means that for fifteen minutes, at least, he sat there spewing diesel fumes and particles, and greenhouse gases into the air of The Lion’s neighborhood. That means those big, shiny SUVs sat there for a bunch of minutes pouring their pollutants into the air.

And that means that Starbucks is responsible for bringing the planet’s biosphere that much closer to extinction. As are, of course, the pig drivers of the SUVs, who can’t get off their fat asses to walk inside the store.

Generally speaking, nobody gets it. Despite all the evidence, despite the simple sense of it, people don’t get that the planet is dying and that we are killing it, and ourselves, when we sit on our asses in our machines because we’re too goddamned lazy or self-important to walk a few feet and stand in line for a few minutes for a cup of coffee.

The Lion will bet any number of cinnamon twists and cups of plain coffee that the people sitting in their SUVs in the drive-up window line this morning will be the first to whine about the unfairness of it all and whine to their gods and whine to the government (which is not only sitting on its ass, but ties itself tighter to the chair every day) when it finally becomes clear that drastic action must be taken and they won’t be allowed to drive their precious SUVs anymore, if they’re allowed to drive anything at all.

Starbucks and all the other merchandisers who run drive-up windows could do a big favor to the world by setting an example and closing those windows. And if they won’t, then maybe the lawmakers could get off their fat asses and stop taking bribes from Exxon and its friends long enough to make such windows illegal.

Maybe it’s not much, but it’s a start.

Special Note: The Lion maintains pretty much an open comment policy, unless you really annoy him a lot. However, if you want to comment here that global warming isn’t real or is a hoax or isn’t serious, The Lion will mutter ‘Fuck you, moron!’ and delete your post.

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12 Responses

  1. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a plot by the Enviro-Nazis to force Amercuh to live like Europeans, driving smaller, efficient cars, using mass transit, and paying higher taxes to. . . to . . .

    Sorry, Ric. My brain cannot work that way for more than just a couple of phrases, not even a full sentence.

    I like your idea, though. Do away with drive-up windows. I have no idea how many people go through the drive-up windows (sorry, PAST the drive up windows) each day, but at 5 to 15 minutes a pop, that’s a whole lot of idling engines. Not only would it help on the AGW front, but it would also save fuel — not as much as keeping tyres inflated properly, but enough to annoy McAin’t.

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  2. I’m not ready to crucify Starbucks (though I go there even less than you. It’s not that I make such great coffee. Coffee is coffee (pretty much) in my book. So why would I go bother with a place that’s crowded with folks who do as you described with a plain old cup of coffee?

    But your post got me to thinking. I was imagining ALL of those SUVs (and every other fossil fuel burning vehicle) at ALL those other drive-throughs, and I started imagining all of the pollutants belching forth into the air – across the U.S., across the world. Can people not see that you don’t even have to buy into “global warming” to see what a tremendous problem we’ve created?

    I guess not.

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  3. Evo –

    Coffee is coffee (pretty much)…

    Heretic!! Fresh ground beans and spring water filtered through a Chemex is coffee’s finest moment, one that Starbucks will never know!

    As for Starbucks I probably buy one cup a month from them, usually when I’m just feeling too lazy to brew the good stuff at home, or when Bush or McCain do something that curdles the cream.

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  4. () –

    I absolutely will not be responsible if you choose to hurt your brain while commenting on my blog. So watch it, Bocce Boy!

    Anything that annoys McBush is a good thing. Last night he says “I want everybody to get rich.” As if he earned his money instead of tossing out a sick wife and marrying Cindy Whatsherface’s hundred million dollar fortune and ten homes.

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  5. Did you notice his definition of rich? (Aside from $5 million a year, that is?) A home, a good job, food on the table? I half expected a Tiny Tim reference (Dickens, not the “singer”) about how you can be rich just by having a loving family. Bleah.

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  6. Damnit. Your dippy little smiley faces keep interfering with my parentheticals.

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  7. Holy crap, Evo! You are a heretic. This Chemex thing sounds interesting, but I don’t think I have the patience to nurse the damn thing. I also don’t have the patience to roast my own coffee (I have a client who does and swears by it) but my friend is in business with his father in law who have a coffee roasting operation, so at least I have access to good beans. Mrs. Chief was drinking Maxwell House before I came along. (shudder)

    I do very much like this thing though. The cappuchino, latte nonsense I don’t care about, but a nice shot or two of espresso, now that’s some fine living. I’d like to have access to that in the house.

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  8. Philly – Maxwell House is pretty good. Though no better than Yuban. Or Folgers, for that matter. It wakes me up and gets me going… two cups max. No more until the next morning.

    Now, you want to talk about wine? Or Scotch? Well, you already know. I have to turn in my elitist badge, don’t I?

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  9. I don’t do Starbucks but if I did I can’t imagine sitting in a drive thru for 5-15 minutes for anything. Within that time frame it is surprising places like that haven’t felt the wrath of the idle monitors like the tourist buses and cabs.
    @Ric…Be careful you’ve stumbled across the truth.The lawmakers actually are NOT getting bribes from Exxon-Mobil but McDonalds, BK, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks.(cue x files theme).
    On a serious note it would be great if we all could slow down (no drive thrus,eating while driving etc.) and take a look at the world. Maybe that’s why people support the drive thrus-it keeps us from seeing those little things that are big things.

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  10. alfie –

    Definitely agree with you on the slowing down bit. First it was the telephone/telegraph. Instead of writing a letter and waiting for a response, you get on the wire and expect a quick answer. Then it was the fax and suddenly everything had to be done right now. And of course email. And now cellphones so you never have to disconnect. No wonder people feel a bit stressed… I think all this speed doesn’t make things more efficient, it just acts as a multiplier for incompetence and asininity.

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  11. () –

    If you create them, why are they ‘my’ dippy little smiley faces? You’ve really got to learn to control your spawn.

    šŸ™‚ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜›

    If you’re not careful they breed like flies.

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  12. philly –

    The key to Chemex, if you don’t feel like standing there dripping water into it, is to put the grounds into hot water, stir it up for a minute or two, and then pour that mix into the filter.

    The old Chemex used a heavy lab grade filter paper, which was superb. The new ones use a lighter paper, but it’s far more effective than the automatic coffee pot filters at taking out the bitter oils and suchlike.

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