Sunday, October 23, 2005

Renamed by Starbucks

At a Starbucks on Fifth Avenue, NYC, I was in line right behind a foreign woman who was ordering.

Woman: Large latte.

Employee: OK, anything else?

Woman: No.

Employee: OK, what's your name?

Woman: [says something in a foreign language, possibly Russian]

Employee: Your name?

Woman: [says something complicated, obviously not just her name, in a foreign language]

Employee: Your name. So we can call it out when it's ready, what's your name?

Woman: What?

Employee: Look, I'm just going to put down "Natasha."

At this point the employee glances at me, and I start biting my lip to try not to crack up laughing, because I'm thinking of Boris and Natasha from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. I feel like the guards in Monty Python's Life of Brian who are trying to hold in their laughter so they don't laugh at Caesar. I've heard of people coming to New York and getting a new name, but I didn't realize the procedure happened at Starbucks.

Woman (finally understanding): Oh. It's Maria!

(The picture above is a pencil sketch I did later that night at dinner.)


clara* said...

ahaaahaha tom you crack me up!

my boyfriend works at starbucks and he has NO IDEA he can rename people..... i can't wait to tell him.

Starbuck said...

Wish someone'd rename me...

Peter said...

I'm learning this every day teaching school. Examples first, theory later.