I enjoy many things that are not good for me, and as I type, anticipating yet another hotly humid, intolerable day in a row, I am enjoying one of them. First, letʼs review some of the not-so-good pleasures:
- Guinness (more on that to come) — both the beverage(s) and the branded stuff,
- chocolate (not to sound like a romantic girl, but chocolate has called my name inexorably since babyhood),
- chips (potato, veggie, pita… you name it and deep-fry it and I will go there),
- crackers (Wheat Thins and their offbrand copycats, Triscuits of all shapes and flavors, soda — plain and with frosting on them for dessert),
- pretzels (and Iʼll leave this item to indicate all the other crunchy snack foods to which I regularly succumb)
- reading (instead of writing or exercising — and perhaps I need to compose a post on the evils of reading because they exist, oh, yes, they do exist),
- loafing (instead of even reading, as I have been doing far too frequently in this humid heat),
- watching movies at home (such an utter waste unless I can, as recently, turn the experience into a post),
- playing the lottery (I just have to acquire those hundreds of millions… although I have yet to add Mega Millions to my periodically biweekly purchase of losing tickets; it felt so much better to throw that money away on temporary fantasies of wealth when I knew it was all supposed to go for education),
- buying things,
- continually undertaking unpaid writing jobs (as I have just done again — possibly Iʼll report on that in the future),
- keeping up this blog (instead of, you know, generating financially gainful literary concoctions),
- arguing politics with the brainwashed (it really is pointless, but it can also be so much fun),
- inventing endless lists like this (and this list could go on much longer),
- and — to get us back on track — Frappuccino, Starbucksʼs intoxicating (well, not literally, but that could be easily solved at home with the liberal addition of Kahlua or other coffee liqueur) and addictive chilled-coffee and milk beverage.
My Submission to Utter Weakness
As those who read both yesterday and todayʼs post may have discerned, I am beginning to realize the pleasures of creating lists (as so many blogs have become — or degenerated into). In both cases (so far anyway), the list was just a generational phase in arriving at the fully formed and elegantly developed essay. (Yes, my fleshy muscular organ in the mouth used for tasting, licking, swallowing, and articulating speech is firmly situated in my inner side of that aforementioned opening for food consumption — in my case, I have been told, presumably the left cheek.) And todayʼs topic is the divine swill that I am currently quaffing, that which makes Starbucks not just omnipresent (in larger cities of the appropriate population density, which excludes my home town, naturally and for me, fortunately) but possibly valid: Frappuccino.
Arriving back in Maquoketa yesterday afternoon, following a wonderful lunch with The Lovely One (at again Carolineʼs, for the first time in months, only to discover they had changed their menu, excluding our favorite items, although Janet persuaded the fine waitress, Lisa, to cajole the cooks to fabricate for her a Chicken Caesar* Wrap, even though it had been dismissed from the carte du jour; I was fine with the ale cheddar soup — of the day — and salad combo, complemented by a quartet of truly tasty breadsticks), I stopped at our local Fareway (whose constantly throbbing refrigeration units annoy our westerly neighbors far more than us; I could not understand why Dickʼs, the original owners, didnʼt place all the refrigeration stuff on the far western end of the store, where no houses were or will ever be) for the Wednesday lottery purchase and some luscious Snapple tea (the good stuff, in bottles, packaged as six packs, flavored peach or raspberry), only to be as frustrated with this purveyor as I had been at Wal-Mart. Whatʼs happened to the Snapple? I did buy their green tea (peach flavored) in plastic bottles, but I know it just isnʼt the same. And worse, in my search I descried the taunting presence of the boxed quartets of Frappuccino.
And I succumbed to their bottled, milky sweet, caffeinated allure.
I know what made me susceptible. On Sunday, with Diane and Steve, we patronized a local coffee shop (directly adjacent to the pottery store) in Cambridge, Wisconsin, where I selected their mocha iced coffee libation, as I had earlier fallen victim to Starbucksʼs own crushed-ice concoction, the original Frappuccino, while in Dubuque a couple of weeks ago. The icy goodness of the shop-crafted drinks is fantastic, but as I had learned to my peril years ago, Starbucksʼs bottled creation, vended in stores, is addictively irresistible. During the latest Nineties and earlier years of this millennium, I had stockpiled bottled Frappuccino to place by the dozen in the little refrigerator hidden in the back of my classroom (along with a miniature microwave — all so college-dormlike that I should have had incense burning in brass containers on the imaginary brick-and-board bookshelves) for excessive consumption during my preparation period, lunchtime and after school paper-grading/journal-reading sessions of work. For about six years I drank far too many of the 200-calorie bottles each day (sometimes six or seven, I sadly admit). They were actually quite inexpensive when bought by the twenty-four-load flat at Samʼs Club (although I had to learn to like the vanilla and mocha flavorings as well as the heavenly pure original coffee drink) — not. Per bottle the cost at Samʼs was originally about eighty cents, as opposed to the buck-twenty or thirty in grocery stores and Wal-Mart; and both prices went considerably higher over the years.
As I find Starbucksʼs coffee drinks usually pretty bland — perhaps intentionally so in order to force from me the additional fifty-five cents for a triple shot latte so that I get at least a tiny hint of actual coffee flavor — the bottled wonderfulness (thanks for that word, youthful, Sixties Bill Cosby) of Frappuccino may be the actual (paranoiacally Real) Secret Reason behind the companyʼs existence and semi-omnipresence.
Anyway, I bought a four-pack on Wednesday, thinking I would enjoy them for four days. It didnʼt take that long. Theyʼre already gone.
So, 800 calories to the worse before noon (at least I did my four-mile swamp-air slog this a.m.), I humbly acknowledge myself a failed human being, subservient to the blandations of American consumerism (and chilled sugary, milky coffee in a bottle). However, I did try to create my own version with skim milk, artificial sweetener and leftover morning coffee which I intend to mix over crushed ice (at least I hope our blender will crush ice) for consumption yesterday afternoon (I am finishing this post about 11:45 on Thursday morning). Maybe the experiment can yield another post already.
My damnably few hours of weakness at least provided the pleasure of composing this post.
* Is anyone else annoyed at the burgeoning number of restaurants that insist on misspelling “Caesar” as “ceasar?” I should have included that along with “potatoe” in Arkhamʼs rant about menus in “Mantorville.”
By the way, what would you have thought if I had made my subtitle: “My Submission to Udder Weakness” instead of the unpunny original? Or may I take my readersʼ assumption of the intended innuendo for granted (as I did, except for weakening — again — to add this ration of obviousness)?