So how many tears, exactly, do into a latte? All I know is this, Starbucks isn’t really in the coffee business. For on, their java is terrible. Dark and burned. What they really sell is caffeine, sugar and image. You get a Starbucks because everyone has one. Maybe there’s some convenience thrown in. They have dominated the planet. Personally, I prefer to churn up my own java creations.
I fool my students into thinking I love Starbucks. I do appreciate the gift cards, though mostly for their sugary treats. Honestly, Starbucks coffee tastes like dirt lit on fire. You doubt me? Try a cup black. No sugar. No milk. No chocolate. Yeah, not so good. Starbucks isn’t a coffee dealer. They’re a sugar and chocolate dealer.
Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of coffee from all sorts of vendors. Now, I can hardly drink most coffees. I can taste the artificial flavor drizzled over the beans. Yuck. Long ago I loved Kona coffee because that’s what my parents drink. I would probably go back to that if I didn’t have another, if somewhat strange, alternative.
I discovered a unique Pannikins in downtown San Diego. I say unique because it was only Pannikin in name. The two ladies that ran the shop took over the site. They’re actually called Hessian Global Goods. They have all sorts of bizarre tea cups and coffee pots. They have a huge assortment of Day of the Dead knick knacks.
Now the coffee is astounding. They import from all over the world. They even have Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica and St Helena coffee from Napoleon’s exile island. My favorites have always been the African coffee. Typically I get Uganda or Zambia. I know if it’s the coffee or their grinder, but the java is addicting.
Things were going well until the girls closed the shop due to skyrocketing rent. Since then (about a year now), I still by coffee from them. The process looks a little weird. I call the ladies up. (Like I will this weekend. Getting a little low.) We plan a meeting place. Typically this is a park. We meet up and make the exchange. I swipe my card through their phone, and they hand over a brown bag with two pounds of coffee. Yeah, it looks crazy. But the coffee’s worth it.
It may end soon. The ladies are planning on buying another shop. Mostly because all their non-coffee wares are wasting away in a storage unit.
I watch a lot of reality TV. Not because I adore it. Mostly because I hardly watch TV at all these days and there’s little commitment with these shows. You can watch one or two episodes and see all you need. I was recently watching Craft Wars (with Tori Spelling) and caught the most ridiculous elimination catchphrase: “Pack up your glue gun. You’re done in this craft war.”
This got me thinking. There have been as many lousy reality TV concepts as there are bad elimination catch phrases. Here are few that, thankfully, no one has tried yet.
10 American’s Top Politician
Honestly, this is how we should do elections. More people would watch and probably vote. However, it would truly underscore the shallowness of our political system.
Elimination Catchphrase: The votes are in… Your campaign is over.
Will Ferrel and Zach Galifianaki compete for congress.
9 Barista Wars
I’m guessing baristas would battle over who could whip the best foam on a cappuccino or churn out the frostiest frappe.
Elimination Catchphrase: You’re frappe was forgettable.
8 Top Neighborhood Watch
Inspired by the movie, The Watch, perhaps warring neighborhood watches could compete over the best way to foil car thieves and burglars.
Elimination Catchphrase: Pack your flashlight and leave the neighborhood.
The Watch movie starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade.
7 Top Skating Pro
Yes, we have the X Games, but what about the drama behind the half-pipe? Here skaters would compete for the best moves and the most stellar personality.
Elimination Catchphrase: You’re ollie ollie outta here. (Ollie is the name of a basic movie in skateboarding.)
6 Project Gossip
Rumors always plague us wherever we go. Yet who can dish it out the best? Finally a Reality TV that has snarky back-biting during AND after each competition.
Elimination Catchphrase: The dirt you dished didn’t stick. Time to clean up you game.
Gardeners compete each show to create the best landscape. There’s a special segment with a mystery shrub. Ooo, so exciting.
Elimination Catchphrase: Pack your shears and mow. (Can you hear the rim shot? I can.)
4 Garbage Wars
Dueling sanitation workers compete to collect unusual trash items in the shortest time. Imagine Fear Factor but as a job.
Elimination Catchphrase: You’ve been kicked to the curb.
3 America’s Next Top Teacher
As a teacher myself, it sometimes feels like this. Here we give a set of teachers the worst students, no supplies, and a cramped room to teach in. (Hey, it’s called reality, people.)
Elimination Catchphrase: You have a failing grade. You’ve flunked out of school.
2 Project Spreadsheet
Finally, a show that explores the devil may care life of accountants. Each episode sees which accountants can make it through various financial challenges and… (wait for it) come back in black.
Elimination Catchphrase: You’re bottom line didn’t hold up. You’re downsized.
Although Dwight Schrute isn’t an accountant, he certainly could do the job.
1 Top Surgeon
Life or death. Who wouldn’t watch? One slip of the scalpel and we lose the patient. At least they pay the patient volunteers well. Plus you get to be on TV.
Elimination Catchphrase: You didn’t make the cut. Pack your scalpel and exit the hospital.