FOULDS: When ordering a coffee makes one question his mental clarity
It appears as though the United States is targeting Iran to complete its hat trick of countries to invade.
Global-warming issues continue to be debated as Europe endures one of its coldest stretches of weather in recent memory.
Earthquakes have rattled the globe, resulting in devastation this past weekend in Indonesia.
There is plenty of big stuff to be concerned about in this crazy world, which is why today we will focus on the crucially important topic of ordering coffee.
McDonald’s coffee is fantastic.
Seriously, it is.
Long gone are the days when the watery black stuff under the Golden Arches made vending-machine java at an arena taste like gourmet beans roasted to perfection by Juan Valdez himself.
And, the cup of joe at McDonald’s improved well before the fast-food chain did its billion-dollar upgrade, adding McCafes and ditching the beloved hard-plastic red and yellow interior designer scheme for the modern tones of subtle browns and beige.
Me? I long for the hard-plastic days of reds and yellows so bright they damage my eyes.
It’s a link to my childhood that has been severed, just one more of many broken connections to the halcyon days of yore as the decades scroll on by.
Come to think of it, the last time I stepped foot in a McDonald’s, I don’t think I was greeted by Ronald.
Nor have I seen the Hamburglar lately.
But, I digress.
The coffee is good. It really is — almost on par with Tim Hortons and as good as much of what is brewed in Kamloops.
However, when one is driving one’s son to a hockey game and rolls into the drive-thru, with every minute more precious than the last as game time approaches, one simply needs to convey one’s order into the machine and get moving.
The second-last time I visited, I ordered a large coffee, two cream, one sugar.
“Would you like a latte instead?” asked the bodyless voice.
“Huh?” I replied.
“Would you like a latte instead?” she repeated.
“Nope. Just a coffee.”
And, away I went with my coffee.
The next time I visited, just this past weekend, I ordered the same thing — a large coffee, two cream, one sugar.
“Would you like a cappuccino instead?” asked the bodyless voice.
“Huh?” I replied in this deja vu nightmare.
“Would you like a cappuccino instead?” she repeated.
“Nope. Just a coffee.”
And, as I drove up a few feet to pay my $2.12, I asked if she would mind if I paid with Canadian Tire money instead.
We all know about upselling.
We all know what lost leaders are.
We all know the goal of business in a capitalistic society is to maximize profit.
I am all for it, but there are times and places for this practice.
When one is in a hurry and on the way to a freezing-cold rink before dawn and needs a coffee in the worst way?
That is not a time, nor place.
And, for someone not as young as he thinks he is, ordering a coffee and being offered a latte doesn’t exactly do much to inspire confidence about my level of coherent thought.
I am forgetting enough things in life to give me pause and wonder about the odds of the onset of dementia in the early 40s.
I can scare the hell out of myself just fine by calling my son by my daughter’s name and vice-versa; I certainly don’t need a bodyless voice echoing through a crackling speaker as the sun rises to add to the stress level of middle-age confusion.
All it does is make me Grimace and pine, ever-so-briefly, for the watery soup that was handed over amid a veritable cacophony of colours when the world — and my memory — was much clearer.