REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Milking the Frappuccino culture

By on September 24, 2013

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Alice, my Republican lover, wanted to meet at the new Starbucks.

Personally, I miss the pre-Starbucks-Seattle-Microsoft era. You could buy a cup of coffee for fifty cents and no one even considered putting goat cheese, scallions or fennel pollen on pizza. In those days you’d grab a case of Budweiser, thaw out some elk steak, round up a couple Utah girls in Jackson for a good time and you were set.

Now Bubba’s charges $2 for a cup of Farmer Brothers. Worst of all, Utah girls want $12 drinks made with basil-infused gin, strawberry, and agave.

However, Susie was unavailable for a tryst as her husband chose this inopportune moment to not be at a conference. Lill had become a John Deere-sponsored athlete and was at the world champion tractor pull in Wichita. A few Utah girls wandered Town Square, as yet unclaimed for the evening, but neither my stomach nor wallet could handle another night of sushi and peach-mint-citrus martinis.

I put on the tweed, pleated pants and button-down shirt I bought at a garage sale in Teton Pines. My look was smart, yet casually-understated. I wandered into Starbucks looking every bit the free-thinking, modern, upwardly mobile, financially savvy man of the new millennium unaffected by popular culture, fads or advertising campaigns so I could fit in with the other free-thinking, modern, upwardly mobile, financially savvy men of the new millennium unaffected by popular culture, fads or advertising campaigns that hang out in Starbucks, thereby proving their independent thought.

“Give me a medium coffee,” I told the girl behind the counter.

“Our sizes are Demi, Short, Tall, Grande, Venti and Trenta,” she said.

“Well that’s simple enough,” I said.

She was cute but had that typical Starbucks pseudo-Bohemian intellect that implied chic wisdom and attitude, but clearly it was merely a cover for her deep desire to marry a nerdy Bill Gates type.

Just then Alice walked in. “We’ll both have a Grande Caramel Frappuccino®, light on whip cream, extra ice.”

“I’m so excited,” she said. “I volunteered for Liz Cheney’s senate campaign!”

“I thought you liked Enzi,” I said. “His conservative voting record is perfect.”

Alice snorted. “How many times does Enzi get on Fox News? All he ever does is work on bills and stuff. We need someone with an image, a public perception, a preconceived persona that can inflame passion, get interviews by O’Reilly, and bring in campaign money.

“Plus since they’re both conservatives and would vote the same. She is plainly running because she cares for Wyoming, not to boost her ego or cash in on her daddy’s name,” Alice asserted. “After all, social critic Eric Hoffer said the substance of any particular group is less important than being part of an energized movement.”

“Didn’t he also say that every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and degenerates into a racket?” I asked.

Alice wasn’t listening. She was glowing with contentment. “Working with Liz Cheney, living in a town with three Starbucks, and a day with all your other girls engaged,” she cooed.

About Clyde Thornhill

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