I don't know about your in-box, but lately mine would really like me to have a highly caffeinated plate of pasta. To be more precise, my spam filter has been dealing with a deluge of electronic coupons from Starbucks and Olive Garden, filling me with the urge to quaff a frappucino and choke down a plate or two of seafood fettuccine. Everybody wants to save money, right? Why not save money while enjoying those things that we all love?
First, there's Starbucks: As my closest associates, and now you causal readers as well, know I have never had a cup of coffee. As I have watched the price and requisite fuss over a steaming hot cup of joe rise over the past couple of decades, that life decision has been affirmed over and over again. The fact that the United States can support an entire industry based on a crop that doesn't grow in forty-nine out of fifty of them gives rise to a whirl of conspiracy theories in my mind. Is it a subtle way for South American countries to hook us on their legal cash crop in hopes of creating a dependence that will eventually cripple us in ways that make oil producing countries look like pranksters?
For that matter, why would Olive Garden be so desperate for customers? Contrastingly to my experience with coffee, I have on occasion been known to imbibe in a plate of pasta. Most of the time I boil a pot of water and drop my store-bought noodles in and wait. I know that it's dinner time when my son and I can throw a piece of spaghetti at the wall and it sticks. They won't let us do that at Olive Garden. That being said, it's still a perfectly pleasant place to spend an evening, especially if your taste in pasta runs parallel to those permutations for your morning cup of coffee: a shot of espresso, parmesan, marinara, nutmeg, scallops, steamed milk or cilantro. Have the whole mess in a blender and take it on the road.
Instead, I think I'll stick to my iced tea and homemade spaghetti. The stuff that I don't need a coupon to afford.