We here at MojoFiction frequent Starbucks. Don’t judge us. It’s a choice, not an addiction. We can quit whenever we want, which will be never ever ever, or until something trendier comes along.
When we visit Starbucks we usually order a simple iced Chai Tea Latte (tall). We like this drink a lot because we can order it in short hand in any Starbucks anywhere by saying “iced tall chai” and making a little finger-gun and saying “pew!” like we’re all cool and stuff. Of course, if we’re ordering at the Starbucks that we frequent by our office building, we only need to show up and they’ll say, “Hey, Mr. Fiction, iced tall chai coming up.” It’s like they know what we want and that makes us wonder if they’re just friendly or if they’re trying to get us out of there as quickly as possible because they don’t really like us or maybe we smell bad or something and then paranoia takes over because we’re sure we didn’t do anything wrong and maybe we didn’t take a shower that morning but who takes a shower absolutely every day anyway and why are they staring at us and what the heck is an upside-down macchiato, is that code for something? So many frustrating questions. We hate Starbucks. Why do we keep going there?
Anyway, yesterday we walked in for our usual drink. Instead of ordering it right up for us because they know what we want, they waited for us to say it. Okay, fine. We said “Iced tall chai please.” They said, “Would you like to Oprah-ize it?” We were like, “Whaaaa?!” and they were like, “Yeaaaah!” and we were like, “No.” That pretty much killed the conversation.
They explained to us that Oprah Winfrey, Chicago icon who no longer lives in Chicago, had developed a new style of chai tea drink that Starbucks felt compelled to sell. Oh the joy! Oprah and tea … together! We pinched ourselves several times, trying to wake up from this heavenly vision. To prove to us that we were not dreaming, Starbucks offered to sell the drink to us at an increased price and we knew that it was true.
Here’s how this celebrity nectar came about:
A “teaologist” from a boutique tea company called Teavana was hiking in the highlands of Tibet when he slipped and accidentally fell into Oprah, who immediately ate him for his rudeness. Afraid that he might bring shame upon his tea company, the teaologist agreed to allow Oprah to design a new tea drink that they would sell far and wide, except in Austin, Texas, where the hipsters are so evolved that they even rebel against being hipsters.
This was obviously a divine match, like Zeus and … well, who didn’t he do it with? As you know, a “teaologist” is a professional licensed by Sesame Street to handle the letter T in various educational settings (the letter T being the most volatile of the letters). An “Oprah,” as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is someone who attaches their name to things. Oprah also has a “tea passion” according to a press release we read regarding this new tea drink. (We have a “video game passion” but no one lets us brag about it. Quite the opposite, actually.) The odds of Oprah and the teaologist (great name for a kid’s book) running into each other was probably really low, except that there is a Teavana down the street from her house. One thing led to another and their union birthed a marketing plan.
Unfortunately, the staff at our particular Starbucks weren’t sure how to sell it just yet. They would break into laughter when they would say, “Oprah-ize,” which probably isn’t a real term (who knows?). They gave us a sample and it wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t interesting enough to trade up. We found out later that a portion of the sale – they don’t say how much – goes to an Oprah charity to support those poor souls injured while handling the letter T.
Apparently, Sesame Street has some explaining to do in regards to a certain Cash-for-T-Certification scandal. They’re not sure who’s been handing out the fake certifications or how much money they’re making off of them, but Oscar the Grouch’s new solid gold trash can is very suspicious.