21 January, 2015, London, ON. I ordered my usual Tall Dark Red Eye this morning, but before I could even take my first sip of the day, I was informed that they were no longer able to call it by that name. It was now known as Tall Dark Solo. Huh? I get it, brewed coffee + single shot of espresso, but c’mon! I tried ordering a Tall Dark Purple Eye. No, that was now a Quad. What? I started to feel like Cleese in the Cheese Shop sketch. Never mind, I’ll have a Tall Dark Black Eye then, surely that hadn’t changed. No, that was now known as a Double. A slave to the siren’s call of mocha java, I obeyed and quietly slunk to my seat with my my tail between my legs and my ‘Solo’ hidden under my trench coat.
A few sips restored my bravado and I began to reminisce on those halcyon days when I could bring a whiff of curiosity from my fellow patrons of the bean, and dispense with the faux Italian names, cut right to the quick, and order a drink not Italian-ized.Clearly, this was my undoing. I didn’t blend in; no, I stood out. I broke the social contract. Wrongdoers threaten the overall
survival, well-being, comfort of those who have played the game and won the right to look down on those that haven’t.
It was only ever in the spirit of amusement and perhaps a bit of desperation, that I latched onto these particular drinks as my own. It was with the wink of a barista’s eye that I first learned of the names the insiders gave these preparations. Red Eye obviously referred to the visible effects of the hangover that needed curing with some strong espresso based drink. Black Eye was a testament to last night’s fight that was part and parcel of that hangover. Green Eye to the next stage of bruising, and Purple Eye to appearance of that shiner a couple of days later.
and provide emotions to the fellow patrons that ranged from curiosity to amusement to downright shock when my order was given and called out.
to some sort of individuality in our homogenized post-Fordian world, that
A couple of more sips and I noticed a growing irritation. Was it some well-meaning patron with more rights than I, who was offended by the names, and complained to management?
Lighten up, we were just having fun!