I don't hate Starbuck's with the rabidity of some. Sure they overroast their coffee. Sure they put a number of cooler coffeehouses on warning if not out of business. Sure they're destroying the planet by not shade-growing their coffee. But when I travel, particularly in NYC--they always provided: 1)clean, unlocked bathrooms. 2) a coffee lingo I could learn and repeat "Tall," "skinny," "with room" etc. and 3) OK, I can't think of a third.
I went there today to try to finish this long poem (in Terza Rima!) and first asked for a cup of Fair Trade coffee since my poem is about the end of the world (as usual). They didn't have any brewed but they'd make me a French Pressed cup. Yeah! But then they asked me what size and it seemed like all of western civilization took a nose dive when I said "tall." They said Large, I said Venti and I realized I was no longer in Starbuck land.
I tried to log on to the internets. They were closed. Or rather, a T Mobile Hot Spot connection was available for the low low price of $9.99. For a day pass.
Still, my very very Grande Fair Trade French Pressed coffee was freaking amazing and the only thing to have gotten rid of my three-day old headache. But it was GIGANTIC (large, Venti, whatever). So, I went to the bathroom. What did I find there, insult among insults? A locked bathroom and a sign that said please to ask for key. A key? For a Starbuck's bathroom? Is it worth it then, to humilate oneself for the Starbucks-going rather than the cool coffeehouse because it's non-smoking and has comfy chairs, for them to destroy rainforests to grow coffeebeans, traded unfairly, to pay them for the internet even though I didn't really end up having to since 4 businesses around had open access wireless accounts if they're not going to leave the bathrooms open for everyone!
Democracy is over if we have to pee with a key (see how I've got the rhyming for the Terza Rima in my head?)