Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Push The Little Pastries And Make'em Come up

I was recently in a Coffee Bean in Beverly Hills. Coffee Bean is the 2nd largest Coffee shop chain in Los Angeles. Of course Starbucks is the biggest. Coffee Bean is the runner up to Starbucks much like Sandisk is the 2nd top mp3 player after The Ipod. What’s Sandisk?...Exactly.* But I felt good being in number 2 on this day as the Coffee Bean was directly across from a Starbucks. Shunning a corporate giant for a smaller corporate giant isn’t exactly sticking it to the man but you have to start somewhere. Given the option at least I went with what was closer to Mom and Pop on the Mom and Pop-Evil corporate giant continuum. For the record Coffee Bean has better tea than Starbucks. Starbucks has better food, mainly because Coffee Bean doesn’t serve food. It’s a push on the pastries. QSN: Doesn’t “Push on the Pastries” sound like the name of an Indie rock group? Eventually people would just call them POP and that would be coincidental but we would call it ironic. I guess I’m all about the underdog as long as the underdog is directly across the street. A brilliant strategy when you think about it. Want to open a small independent coffee shop? Well, set up shop near Starbucks. Some traffic will be diverted your way out of pangs of guilt. Why be cliché when you can cross the street and be self righteously cliché? Others will head to get some indie brew to avoid long lines and no place to sit. Either way you’re siphoning off the man and championing small business. Who knows Starbucks may even pay you off and give you more to scram than you would’ve made in business. Sure, that’s the classic definition of selling out but…if a thousand Mom and Pops do this then… Well, I would like to say it would bring Starbucks to its knees but it’s more likely that scones will go up 5 cents. (in Robot voice) …Resistance is futile, Just go to Starbucks sip on your frap and enjoy Norah Jones on the PA system… QSN - Quick Side Note *News story on Sandisk being number 2

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Close Encounters of the Crazy Kind

At this point my brushes with eccentric characters have become much like the “chicken or the egg” conundrum. Do I write about these types because I run into them or do I run into them because I write about them? I don’t think I’m seeking out these encounters but maybe the mere act of writing about them, attracts them.

Cut to me walking into a Ralph’s supermarket to ¬¬¬scoop up some Almond milk. I usually get soy milk from the ninety nine cents store but apparently soy milk has too much of the female hormone, estrogen. I don’t sob while watching Seinfeld reruns and I haven’t told anyone that it’s not what they said, but how they said it. Still, I figure I should take a break from using female hormone milk to mix my very manly protein powder after my very manly workouts. (Resistance bands are manly right?)

I walked past a guy in the parking lot and we had this exchange:

APOCALYPSE DUDE: You going in there?
ME: Yes
APOCALYPSE DUDE: You better hurry! They’re running out of food!

It took everything in me to not ask him some follow-up questions. Was it a certain section that was depleted? Were they also running out of toiletries? How about cashews?

I hope my doomsday soothsayer wasn’t offended that I didn’t speed up after his warning. It’s not that I wasn’t taking heed but no one else was heading toward the mega mart so at least I only had to contend with the mayhem already inside the store and those people already had the drop on me so keeping my leisurely pace seemed to make sense.

Of course Ralph’s was loaded. There were enough provisions to feed a city. To be fair, he didn’t say when they would run out of food. 2025 would be my guess. Almond milk is too thick for my protein powder to fully dissolve. I wish he would’ve warned me about that.