Is Starbucks a Superpower?

October 14, 2008
By Chelsea Ugalde, Austin, TX

Over the years Starbucks has gained a reputation as being one of the largest and most successful corporations in the modern U.S. This statement is hard to dispel as it is supported by numerous statistics made by credible, high ranking (and high paid) professors and mathematicians (“important people”) who, at the present time, are unavailable to provide us with a direct quote. But you may take it verbatim, if you so choose. With so much power and influence in the hands of one industry, one must wonder: “Just what could someone do with that much power at their disposal?” With that much authority, it is possible (and highly conceivable) that one could take over the world.
They begin slowly, subtly controlling us with caffeine, an ever present ingredient in coffee (even decaf). They entice you with their oh, so suave (and often times attractive) baristas. They lure you in with charming smiles and half hearted inquires about your daily life, while simultaneously goading you into trying one of their brand new lattes.“Only 150 calories for a Tall!" And inevitably you give in, smiling like a fool, as you unknowingly slip a 10 dollar bill into their rapidly expanding tip jar.“Have a nice day.” They croon, but you know what’s really behind those wide smiles. Subliminal messages are everywhere. That mini french-press is so enticing, only capable of holding two cups at the price of two full sized ones at your local World Market.”But its soooo cute!” You illogically reason to yourself and the few bystanders beside you. But they only glance up at you, bewildered, sidling away quickly giving you sidelong glances as if you were some crazed lunatic…You pick up the object and reverently turn it in your hands. You can see the reflection of your face in its glazed surface; your cheeks are flushed, eyes wide, over bright, and you realize, this is madness. So you buy the thing, thrusting crumpled bills into the hands of the ever-smiling (and attractive) baristas, yell “Keep the change!” (it was a fifty) and rush out the door, shouting hasty farewells to no one in particular, and as you step outside and the fresh, non-coffee infused air invades your lungs, your minds clears and you are free. You glance around and see other fellow consumers with the same dazed expression plastered to their faces as they gaze incredulously at the ridiculous items they managed to purchase in their hurried frenzy to get out the door. As you look on you vow to yourself that you will never set foot into that place again, making coffee safely within the confines of your own home, but irrevocably you will….you always will.
--Its 10:35, coffee break.

The author's comments:
It was originally a satire piece for AP English class with Mrs.Kelley, and I had a lot of fun writing it, as I am a dedicated starbucks customer.

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This article has 3 comments.

hippiechic said...
on Jul. 20 2010 at 2:48 am
Chelsea!! I forgot how much I love your snarky parentheticals. I am so proud to know a published Teen Ink writer!

pinky11 said...
on Oct. 22 2008 at 12:23 am
This was so cool Im enlightened even when I drive by a Starbucks thinking of this writers thought I can relate and looooove Starbucks also

Danno2008 said...
on Oct. 21 2008 at 3:16 am
This is a great article about the seductiveness of Starbucks. Well written, funny and satirical. Totally comical that the ad links along the right side of the article are all for coffee! Great job and keep writing!


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