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Wag More, Bark More?

February 1, 2010
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It’s awfully difficult to kick off the whole healthier eating thing on New Year’s Day when the New Year’s Eve leftovers are strewn about the kitchen. So let’s just bite the bullet and admit that on New Year’s Day morning, I headed to my neighborhood independent coffee shop only after breakfasting on cold pizza topped with a gloriously congealed layer of many cheeses, cheese puffs, and champagne with a scoop of mango sorbet. At the shop, I got in a very long line of zombified people. There was only one barista, who was both pulling drinks and ringing people up. The young woman in front of me clearly had been suckered into stumbling out for coffee for someone else. She ordered her own drink and then asked for a venti drip, without realizing that the largest size there is a grande.

The barista looked at her as if she had just ordered cup of motor oil, extra hot, no foam. “Venti? What does that mean?” he hissed. (If you don’t speak unwashed hipster, this translates loosely as, “This is not Starbucks, you moron.”) Then he watched her struggle.
“Um, I don’t know what that means, I guess. Sorry. My dad asked him to get him a venti drip.”
“And again, what does that mean? Are you asking for 20 ounces?”
“Um, I’m not sure how many ounces. I guess I don’t know.”

At that point I came THIS close to saying, “Venti means your biggest coffee, hipster a**hole.” But then I remembered my somewhat nebulous New Year’s resolution to pursue a less-annoying variation on “Wag More, Bark Less,” as nearly every Subaru Outback bumper in my neighborhood implores. I know this is crotchety, but I hate that bumper sticker. I often find myself wondering how much the people who came up with them make off of them, and whether they are produced with child labor in a South Asian sticker sweatshop.

“That’s because you’re a barker,” my boyfriend replies coyly. The more I think about it, the more I agree with him. But I’m kind of proud to be a barker. This does not mean I would not also like to wag more.  At any rate, resolution in mind, I dropped the cursing and substituted the softer, “I think she wants your biggest coffee.”

I was proud of my restraint until lunchtime, when I retold the story of my morning-coffee-outrage to a friend over a quick cup of Lebanese vegetable soup in the Whole Foods food court, and unwittingly taught the group of children sitting behind me the choice phrase “hipster a**hole.”

2010 may be a long year.

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