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Starbucks is a disease
Member Name: notallsoft
Date: 07/08/01, updated on 07/08/01 (116 review reads)
Advantages: Reasonable coffee, wide selection, nice frozen drinks
Disadvantages: Propogating like rabbits, Coffee is bad for you, I'm sick of seeing a Starbucks on every street corner!
It works like this. Bacteria start off only as a few single-celled organisms which cause you very little harm...but then they multiply. Before you know it, all your major organs have failed and your body can no longer function.
My analogy for Starbucks is obvious. Starbucks usually manifests itself at first instance as an innocuous coffee shop in a small city. Within a year or two, there are Starbucks as far as the eye can see. Just think of Central London - I challenge you to find anywhere inside the circle line where you are more than 500 yards from a Starbucks in any direction. (Answers on the back of a postcard please.)
I've walked past (and not into) Starbucks in Bali, Australia and Thailand, to name just a few places. It has been reported that a high-ranking Starbucks executive once said he'd only be happy not when there was a Starbucks in every shopping mall worldwide, but when there was a Starbucks in every Starbucks. I can believe it because I'm almost seeing it.
My disease analogy isn't entirely metaphor either. Think Starbucks can't really affect your body? Think again.
Everyone needs a pick-up now and again, but we all know caffeine is bad for you in large doses. It's a drug and, as such, is addictive. Really large doses, say 1,000mg, the equivalent of 10 cups of caffeine, in a day can case some or all of the following symptoms: stomach upsets, heart palpitations, restlessness, insomnia.
The sterol in coffee has been blamed for everything from aggravating cancer to increasing cholesterol levels. It's thought by some doctors to have a serious effect on the nervous system.
Of course, this is true of coffee anywhere. The reason Starbucks is a particular culprit is the sheer numbers of outlets, meaning that they shift an awful lot of coffee, and the whole Starbucks "take over the world" mentality.
In November 1999 Reuters reported: "A Canadian tourist
who claims that his penis was crushed by a faulty toilet seat at a Starbucks Corp restaurant has sued the giant coffee retailer for $1.5 million, his attorney said Monday." Even their toilets are dangerous! And my mother said you could always tell the class of an establishment by its facilities...
Starbucks isn't evil or nasty. I believe they do support their environmental promises, and at least their cups are recyclable even if I've rarely seen anyone recycle them. Other chain food and drink outlets have just as many negative points if not more. The problem is the exponential growth - I don't want to pass a Starbucks every other shop. I don't want caffeine strung-out co-workers. I don't want to drown in a sea of coffee, thank you very much. But Starbucks will grow as long as we provide something for the parasite to feed off. (Yes, mixed metaphor, but what the hey.)
People, the largest problem is us. Humans are the carriers of the Starbucks disease. If we didn't walk in and come out carrying a steaming cup of (admittedly not bad) coffee, fewer outlets could exist, and fewer, and fewer. If you're not part of the solution, you coffee junkie, then you know who's fault it is!