To thank my babysitter for helping out, I asked her if I could pick her up something from Starbucks. She texted: “I will have a tall skinny vanilla ice tea latte”. So I went to Starbucks and I asked for a tall skinny cappuccino for myself…and then things took a turn. Here is the transcript of our conversation:
ME: I’ll have a tall cappuccino but with low-fat milk and then I need….
(Pause to pull up text and read it)
ME: A tall skinny vanilla iced tea latte.
ME: What’s wrong? Is everything okay?
MANAGER: What does she want again?
ME: A tall. Skinny. Vanilla iced tea latte.
MANAGER: That’s what I thought.
MANAGER: That’s not a thing.
BARISTA: She’s right. It’s not a thing.
ME: It’s not a thing?
ME: Is that possible? She ordered something that doesn’t exist?
BOTH: Yep. It doesn’t exist. It’s not a thing. Like, At. All.
MANAGER: I mean, maybe what she wants is a coffeelatte or a chailatte but you can’t have an icedtealatte. And there’s not vanilla in the iced tea. It’s just something that’s not…there. I mean, we could figure something out, but I’m not sure I’d recommend that.
BARISTA: Text her back. Does she drink coffee cuz the lattes are really popular.
ME: I don’t know. She’s my babysitter. I don’t know her drinking habits.
BARISTA: Just text her.
(Text text text. Waiting signal. “I like both!” response.)
ME: Okay. She likes both, but probably not together. Like not a coffeechailatte.
ME: That was a joke. Just fix her whatever you think is popular. Because popularity is important.
(The Manager looked at me questingly, wondering if I was still joking. I gave her a slight nod.)
MANAGER: The latte then. She’ll love it.
When I got home I told the babysitter about the scene. “Weird,” she said. “It’s just iced tea with a little milk and vanilla.”
Huh. After my conversation with the baristas, I thought she was asking for magic.