How to Navigate Starbucks

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Humor: Tips for Navigating Starbucks from

This time of year Starbucks can seem a little daunting, due to the hoards of people demanding their eggnog lattes, but I’m here to help you turn what would normally be a potential bloodbath into a really enjoyable experience. For you.

Yes, it’s Lifewhack- Starbucks style.

1. This may well be the most important step in the lesson. It’s imperative that you stand just outside the Starbucks door and slowly count to ten. Not any ten-count where you deep breathe to calm yourself- this is scream counting. You need to unleash your inner storm and belt those numbers out. If people aren’t scattering, you’re simply not putting your heart into it and you should rethink your intent.

2. After announcing yourself, you will proceed to walk through the door calmly. Be considerate of the other guests- they just wish to enjoy their holiday refreshments without fearing for their lives. The exception to this rule is if you see anyone wearing a Santa hat. Those things are just invitations for merciless teasing, so go ahead and let yourself savor a moment of pointed laughter. It helps if you gesture toward the person and spit out, Really? Really with that hat? Really?

3. Bunny hop to the back of the line. This is the time to take a deep breath to calm yourself, because you’ll have to wait for some time. Here are some tips to help get you a little further up in line: fake sneeze (loudly- nobody will want to stand in front of that), stand super-close to the person in front of you- at least so they can feel your breath on their neck, and maybe so close as to barely nudge your bag into their back. If these don’t work, you can at least amuse yourself by gently mewing under your breath.

4. Soon your turn will come to order. When the tall snarky emaciated pock-marked barista asks what you’ll be having today, give him your finest duck lips and begin to peruse the menu. Oh. I don’t knoooooow, you’ll sigh, I was aiming to try the Peppymint Mocha, but now I’m totally torn between that and the Gingybread Latte. What. Would. You. Recommend? You know, if you had a mouth? He’ll no doubt make a hurried suggestion, but don’t you dare let him off that easily. This is where we jump to the next number, so this step doesn’t seem too long.

5. Here’s your drink decision: Only after lolling your tongue in a grotesque manner around your entire gaping maw will you settle on a Trenta 13-shot extra whip, decaf skinny pumpkin spice mocha frapp. The key here is to memorize this perfectly, or you won’t be able to speed-sing it to the tune of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Inevitably it will take a few recitations before they catch your whole order, but you will definitely have made a lot of other customers smile jovially with your timely tune.

6. You must pay in cash. The best part will be when you are groveling in your giant purse for the last 29 cents, and lots of items must be removed and placed on the counter to facilitate the task: tampon, condom, completely smashed package of snowman marshmallow peeps, brass knuckles, the three travel mugs you stole from the display on the way in, and a giant wad of kleenex. Don’t take anybody’s charity. This is your drink, and you will pay for it, by god.

7. Sometimes they ask you for your name so they can call you when your drink is ready. Your name for this exercise is Pee-Pee.

8. When your drink comes up, quickly grab for it and oops knock it all over the counter (toward the barista- you don’t want to get your awesome threads dirty.) This is the ultimate in it’s your fault because you are a giant jackass, but they will make you a new drink for free. So hilarious! Everybody loves this one because when it happens it is a joyous spectacle, especially when you shriek just as it happens. The best part? You get to give an encore performance of your drink-song.

9. All good things must come to an end, so eventually it will be time to take your leave. You can bet all eyes will be on you as you flip your scarf over your shoulder and saunter out the door with a little wink and a finger laid aside of your nose. Or inside, if that is your preference.



  1. 12/13/2011 / 2:51 am

    Thanks for sharing! I think this one could become a one man (holiday) show – staring yourself maybe? or the actor of your choice…

  2. 12/13/2011 / 7:38 am

    Oh my god. As a daily user of the bucks nazi at the tower, I hate this. But my plain black coffee ordering ass is finding humor in picturing YOU doing all these things. Love it.

  3. 12/13/2011 / 8:56 am

    I LOVE scream counting!
    Thanks for writing this… I needed it- you crack me up.

  4. 12/13/2011 / 10:02 am

    Duck lips – ha! I don't even drink coffee, but this tutorial is so helpful, I think I may start.

  5. 12/13/2011 / 1:23 pm

    Here's another edit: when the drinks come up, just take one when you are tired of waiting. Don't read the code; it's like Greek anyway. If it's not yours, well…it will at least be hot.

  6. 12/13/2011 / 5:45 pm

    There is never a line at Starbucks in Seattle! That's because we have twenty per block, and then another twenty indie coffee shops. (Also, you will get shot by a hipster if you drink Starbucks in Seattle.)

  7. 12/14/2011 / 5:29 am

    Hilarious!!! I love this. Starbuck's makes me crazy and I do act up in line.

    • 12/14/2011 / 7:50 am

      Do you pinch the people in front of you? "cause that would be fun, too.

  8. 12/15/2011 / 3:25 am

    All great tips….Yesterday a woman was in front of me at Starbucks asking what all the sizes were and can she see each cup for each name…I can't imagine it was her first time there, maybe she was lonely….She drove me nuts in other words.

  9. 12/15/2011 / 2:01 pm

    That's so sad; I think there are lots of people whose only social interactions are at stores. Oh yeah, like me! LOLOL

  10. 12/15/2011 / 2:02 pm

    Oooooh, that would send me into the realm of VLOGGING, and I think I'd require a really expensive cast and crew.

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