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Barista! Holiday Spirits, On The Rocks

It is officially time again to unlock the hard liquor cabinet. And leave it unlocked.

At least that's my approach to the next two months of holiday fucking bliss. Hopefully I'll be just lucid enough to remember the safe codes, but just hazy enough to forget it all ever happened by February.

As though the season isn't miserable enough on its own, the company I work for all but blows Santa for eight weeks straight. Nine, if you count this week - the one preparing, training, unwrapping, decorating, and stomaching for the main stretch.

Our store had a festive meeting the other night to unveil the fabulous new products available in our Holiday 2006 line. My manager kicked it up a notch with some bitchin' snacks at the meeting. I unabashedly devoured most of the raw veggie platter, as well as my coworker "Lillian's" mom's special peanut buttery crispy chocolatey things. Kudos Lillian's mom, kudos.

We also did a coffee tasting, and I must say that this year's holiday blend is especially delectable. I like to describe it as smoother than a bear shitting in the woods. A big cute North Pole polar bear with a scarf and a cup of coffee shitting in the woods, that is! I'm pretty sure that's the scene I saw inside one of our new holiday items for sale - a snow globe that rests atop a ceramic version of our company's logo cup.

This brings up two questions: Why do we sell snow globes? (Or even DVDs for that matter.) And, has the idea of holiday tradition really been reduced to collecting things from the corporate coffee store? Not to mention the fact that everything for sale this time of year has somehow acquired the mystical value of being a "collectible." Just who determined that? Oh yeah, some dude in marketing. There's a reputable source.

*

Aside from the company mentally preparing me for the holidays, I've also taken it upon myself to practice deep breathing stress relief techniques to help me avoid physical violence every time somebody orders a skim eggnog latte and claims that the skim milk "balances" the eggnog.

Allow me to break down the simple math for everyone: A medium eggnog latte made the normal way, with whole milk, is 550 calories and 19 grams of saturated fat (29 fat grams total). The same drink, substituting whole milk for skim, is 440 calories and 13 grams of saturated fat (20 fat grams total). Either way, you may as well eat a Big Mac (540 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat, 29 fat grams total) and actually feel full for the amount of lard you're ingesting at once.

*

Overall, no matter what ugliness the upcoming season is sure to invoke in most of us, I am thankful that America has my coffee company around to induce some cheer in the otherwise dreary existence that is many people's lives. I mean that.

I have witnessed the warming transformation of the most cold-hearted sons-of-bitches upon discovering that we once again have gingerbread-based products. Hark! It's almost like Christ was born again right in this coffee shop!

Finally, I want to formally raise a stiff toast as we all embark into this jubilant time of year. As I report throughout the next eight weeks, it may get ugly. I may not be the sweet, sunny Maude that everyone has come to expect. If my predictions are correct, I'll be sharpening candy canes into weapons by week three, vomiting red and green by week four, and Hulkishly trampling nativity scenes by week seven, only sparing the barn animals and baby Jesus for hostages.

But until that happens, a toast to the anticipation:

The buzzing in my ear
sounds the looming threat of cheer.

Under a heavy snow-filled cloud,
The eggnog steams so fucking loud.

I fight to display niceness
as I internalize my vices.

My heart overflows, abundant with glee,
and my cabinet overstocked
with Jack, Johnny, Jim, and Stoli.


Maude Perkins is The Beachwood Reporter's pseudononymous service industry affairs editor currently serving time as a store supervisor for a large, publicly-held corporate coffee chain. Read more Barista! here.



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Posted on November 5, 2006


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Corporate Spies Like Us.
SPORTS - Why Was This Game Even Scheduled?

BOOKS - Postdictatorship Argentina.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Public Lands Matter.


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