Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Dark (Roasted) Vision of the Future

As you may have noticed, I've lacked direction of late. Like a rudderless ship, I've been behind the eight ball, searching for silver linings on the road to nowhere. (For some reason, I also find myself mixing metaphors)

Hopefully, all of that is about to change.

After much soul searching, I've finally come up with a LifePlanTM but I need your help to bring it to fruition. As those of you who've been here before can attest, I have no discernible talent. In that way I'm kind of like the Paris Hilton or Carson Daly of blogging - but without the fame and fortune. To rectify that,1 I've decided to begin The Bloggers Campaign to Make Joe Famous for No Reason or TBCTMJFFNR for short.2

Of course, I can't do this alone - particularly in light of the no-talent thing I mentioned above - so I'm asking you to mobilize to...erm...help me become famous for no reason.3 Don't worry about how you go about doing it.4 I have faith in you. After all, if you can't trust a group of people you've 'met' over the internet, who can you trust?

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start making me famous!

1 Correction: The new acronym will be TBCTMJF(I)FNR. The (I) stands for Immediately. Thanks to Doug for pointing out the obvious flaw in my plan.

2 The fame and fortune part, I mean. Not the talent part. I'm beyond hope where that's concerned.

3 Erm...I guess that was been pretty obvious from the committee name.

4 Although hats, t-shirts, posters, buttons, and a tattoo on your forehead all seem like reasonable places to start.

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A Dark (Roasted) Vision of the Future

Starbucks had long ago taken over ever store in the city. With no external competitors they turned on each other, waging an all out war for profits. Rival gangs sprung up with the sole purpose of forcing competing stores out of business.

The Second Avenue Grande Lattes, led by the brutal No Foam were among the most notorious. For nearly a decade, they'd ruled the Upper East Side with an iron fist. Now, for the first time, they faced a legitimate threat.

Rumor had it that the Midtown Macchiatos were looking to expand their turf and had decided that the Grandes were the perfect target. The Grandes were nervous, and deservedly so - for the Macchiatos leader, Decaf Frap, wasn't one to act on impulse. He did his homework before making a move, researching year over year same store sales, customer satisfaction indexes, and even restroom cleanliness of his targets.

The Grades had closed the store early to hold a strategy meeting. A quick scan of the room showed small groups nervously chattering as they clustered at the wooden tables scattered around the store. Others tried their best to relax in the cushy armchairs reserved for the upper echelon of the gang. The fact that No Foam had yet to arrive for such an important event had them even more on edge. Still more tried to work of the tension by rearranging the sales racks and moving slow selling items to the clearance area.

The din nearly drowned out Iron and Wine's acoustic cover of "99 Luftballoons" (from the latest Hear music compilation featuring bands you've never heard of singing offbeat versions of songs you barely remember and on sale for just $14.99 on the spin rack near the register) playing in the background.

In the absence of No Foam, the gang's second in command, Vanilla Creme, called the meeting to order and began to speak.

"We've all heard the rumors about the Macchiattos exploring a hostile takeover of our stores. It looks like those rumors are true. Over the past week alone, they've cut off our Arabica bean supply, and hijacked a truck of brand merchandise - including our entire limited edition Halloween Cat Bearista supply!"

He paused and looked around the room. He saw the terror in their eyes and wished that No Foam were there to reassure them. Without his cunning business saavy and sadistic murderous streak the Grandes were lost.

The silence was interrupted by a knock at the door. Rainbow Cookie hopped off of his stool and opened the small speakeasy door they'd recently installed in lieu of a peephole.

"May I help who's next?" he said, using the time-honored secret question and waiting to hear the password that would identify the visitor as friend. When there was no reply, he repeated the question, this time peering out in the hopes of seeing an impatient No Foam waiting to be let in. Instead, he received a face full of steamed milk. He fell to floor, screaming in agony.

A folded newspaper flew through the open panel and landed on the floor with a thwack. One of the gang's lieutenants, Chai T, calmly stepped over the writhing body, picked up the paper and brought it over to Vanilla Creme.

VC closed is laptop (wireless internet access being the main perk of gang membership) and put it in the backpack hanging over his chair. He opened the package and when he saw what it contained, he stood up and slung the backpack over his shoulder.

"Forget it boys. Its all over and we've lost."he said, before walking out into the street and leaving the rest of them behind.

The rest of the gang gathered around the package, shaking their heads in disbelief.

"What does it mean?" asked Chantico - the newest member of the gang.

Chai T shook his head.

"It means its over, kid. No Foam sleeps with the coffee grounds."