Justiﬁcation for Spending Too Much Money on Coffee
-by Gaye Thomasson
I love Starbucks. There. I said it. Is there a support group out there for people like me? I have my Gold Card. I’m a Starbucks Gold Member probably until the year 2030 if I live that long. I look forward to my free drink announcement on my Starbucks app. It’s like Christmas every 12 purchases. Free latte! I even get excited when Starbucks sends me a challenge: Make 20 purchases over the next 20 days and we’ll give you 10 extra “Stars.” Ooooh, I plan my strategy… (Ok, I really do have a life although so far this reads like a very lonely tale.)
How does a caffeine addict justify this behavior along with inane coffee purchases? Well, one just has to open her eyes at every Starbucks and see all of the opportunities that are just sitting there screaming out, “I want to be a parrot toy!”
Yes, it’s really just all about my parrots. Not the caffeine, not the chocolate sprinkles, not the decadent pastries, (You really must try the pumpkin cream cheese mufﬁn in the Fall), not even the coffee grounds. (Yes, coffee grounds are cherished here for enriching my gardens.) It’s about the plethora of goodies that my birds get giddy over…as I relish my XH NF SVL. (No translation needed nor provided at this time.)
I purchase two drinks at the most when I visit my favorite barista, but I feign the inability to safely carry them, one in each hand, ha!, 100 yards back to the car and so I request a cardboard drink carrier. It’s pitiful, and maybe obvious, but I really don’t care. My priority is 1) get the latte and 2) ﬁnd goodies that my birds will enjoy destroying. It’s what I live for. My barista just sighs and complies.
Once I get home and either of my Amazons sees that piece of shapely cardboard enter their cage, it is pure nirvana. Both of them are sooooo easy to please. Within minutes the cardboard is shredded into 500 pieces, unrecognizable, and soon fodder for our wood stove. They gaze up at me amid the sea of mess as if to say, “Well, throw me another one. Now!”
I admit, this is the lazy person’s method of a “toy” to be shredded by a parrot. If I took the time, and I sometimes do, I’d fold it in two and ﬁll it with foot toys, shredded paper, and treats. Or, I might tie goodies to them and hang on the sides of their cages. The creative possibilities are limitless. But trust me, just pitching it to the cage ﬂoor sufﬁces.
Wait! There are other potential parrot playthings at Starbucks. Have you seen the long skinny wooden stir sticks? My drink never needs a stir, but I pretend and always take a few of these as they also make terriﬁc chew toys stuck through a little basket or thrown into the birds’ SS buckets for instant chews, or? Also, the cardboard hot drink sleeves with the Starbucks logo have great potential as foundations for little foot toys or just, ok, thrown into the bottom of the cage to get chewed up. And, depending on your bird, a rinsed plastic cup lid can provide entertainment, too. Starbucks straws are loooong, and can be cut up and strung on toys. And don’t forget those clever plastic green drink stoppers. They’ve GOT to be good for something!
Need I go on? It’s like shopping for the birds with the added beneﬁt of enjoying my favorite beverage! Long story long, keep your eyes peeled when you are out and about. There are objects everywhere that have the potential to be great, safe playthings for your birds, at no cost whatsoever. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to check my Starbucks app and see if my next stop later this morning will include a free latte. Life is good.