When You Wish Upon a Star

On a recent trip to the great State of Kansas, Ol' Dutch had the opportunity to be exposed to what some would see as real “culture.”

Unlike our typical time spent in the boonies somewhere west of the Mason-Dixon Line, Trixie and I spent two weeks in thriving metropolis of Wichita, Kan. which does have some semblance of sophistication to it. Well, they did have a Starbucks anyway.

While Ol' Dutch slaved away helping number one son remodel a house, Trixie was able to “do her thing.” This requires a fast Internet connection and although I have yet to see the financial windfall from all that “work” she says she did while avoiding the remodel, she did spend a lot of time at the local Starbucks.

For those of you yet unaware of this store, it’s a place you can get a 50 cent cup of coffee for $3.00 and creamy, frothy, foamy concoctions reaching upward of $7 a cup.

Finally one day Trixie convinced me to go along with her to take a morning off from the ball-and-chain of house remodeling. Looking back, though, I think it was just a ruse for Ol' Dutch to pay for her creamy, frothy, foamy concoction.

A guy with hair that had been combed with an egg beater took our order and smiled a knowing smile as Trixie ordered an Iced-Latte-Fratte-Mogo-Comosi with no ice. Huh? My order of plain coffee drew a look of scorn and definite feeling of rejection from this young disheveled salesman.

Looking around the store was enlightening to use one of Trixie’s words. Folks sat in comfy lounging chairs with their noses buried in computers and phones thanks to the free Internet connection which means they could avoid human interaction at all costs.

And, then there was the arranged date at the high bar table. His Aunt Martha must have taken pity on the poor man and convinced Susie to meet him for a free cappuccino. There can be no other reason those two were together.

And, then there was us. Trixie on her computer “working” and me on my phone playing games. Who says Ol’ Dutch can’t adapt to the new ways of the young?

The coffee and latte thing soon arrived and I could tell no difference between my drink and the $1 deal at the local McDonald's which makes me worry that the Baristas may spit in the cheaper drinks as a way of punishing the lower class customers.

Now Ol' Dutch has been around more than a few blocks and as I sat pondering this newfangled way to separate me from my money, it occurred to me how far things have changed here in America.

I knew we were in trouble way back when after I saw normally smart people pay for drinking water at the 7-11. When I was growing up scoring a dime for a Coke was the measure of a good day but now I see even kids forking over $1.59 for some fancy-smancy water that some highly intelligent entrepreneur got from the tap in San Francisco.

Kids just don’t know the fun they can have without forking over lots of money.

While here in Kansas I have gotten to introduce the grand daughters to a lot of new adventures. They experienced their first blow up swimming pool which was way better than the local YMCA; made a playhouse out of a washing machine box equipped with doorbells and play kitchen; plus Ol' Dutch was able to show them how to drink out of the hose. They thought it quite the treat and about foundered on the cold, clean water.

This got Ol' Dutch to further ponder and I finally figured out the secret to selling $7 coffee concoctions and $2 bottled water. It seems that they have somehow convinced people that the more they spend the better they feel about themselves.

This was only possible after the children of the Great Depression began to pass on to their eternal rest as none of them would ever pay for such niceties such as these. They felt better about themselves having money in the bank than store-bought coffee on the lips.

Now, if you have not yet joined the ranks of the “in” crowd and need to feel good about yourself, put on a clean shirt and visit your local high end coffee shop. You can always go home and drink out of the hose later.