Click HERE to find out everything Starbucks would like you to know about a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Read below if you'd like to know what I think about the cultural blight that is a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
(legal note: I will not be capitalizing "Pumpkin Spice Latte" the rest of the way because 1. I don't want to and 2. the drink doesn't deserve it.)
So, some of you have to go change your pants right now because I dared talk shit about your favorite "for a limited time only" drink and you peed a little when you pounded your fist so hard against your formica desk in anger (I don't believe anyone who reads this is of a status to have a desk made of real wood). I do not apologize. You shouldn't be that mad and your bladder shouldn't have been that full. Cut back on the pumpkin spice lattes and maybe these things wouldn't happen to you. Turn back now if you can't take it because it's going to get worse.
For the record, my wife loves pumpkin spice lattes. She loves them for the same reason you do - they're seasonal. Don't even try to tell me they taste good. If that were true they would sell them every day of the year. That's the selling cycle for good shit - all the time. The bad shit - some of the time.
Do not trot out your McRib argument here - it's not the same thing. It's based on the price of pork and it's actually good. In fact, they may have had to take the McRib to "limited availability" status in order to save us from ourselves. It will not surprise you that my wife also loves the McRib. Although, her reaction to McRib season is that of a ravenous lion given her actual affinity for the taste of the processed meat product barbecue sandwich. It is rather unlike her pumpkin latte reaction for reasons I will make clear below.
Starbucks people like to think they are unique. They live in a world of false uniqueness created by Starbucks. A world where their custom order at Starbucks sets them apart from others. Their on-line dating profile contains a reference to their Starbucks custom order because that's what they think is most important about themselves.
The only time of year that Starbucks people lose their uniqueness is in the fall when Americans suddenly remember pumpkins are edible. Pumpkins, like every other major fruit and vegetable, are available year round due to something people now call a "global economy." However, we tend to ignore them until about October and then forget them minutes after the Detroit Lions lose on national TV (that's a Thanksgiving Day reference that I'm sorry you didn't get). All of sudden for about two months a year we become pumpkin fanatics. We've got pumpkin in everything from bread and pie to beer, ice cream and body soap (seriously). Pumpkin becomes like turkey - placed into a lot of things it doesn't belong for reasons that are not completely clear. I don't need pumpkin tasting beer nor do I need turkey jerky or turkey hot dogs, buts that's another story for another time.
So, it's only natural that Starbucks would latch onto the pumpkin bandwagon and drag it into their cozy little corporate world and kill it with vintage Carly Simon albums. People in Starbucks are impressed with "new" as much as they are "unique." Add "scarce" or "infrequent" to the mix and you have the perfect product for Starbucks assholes to enjoy at the top of their lungs. What? You've never noticed that Starbucks people must explain how awesome their selection is to everyone? Then you aren't paying attention, my friend.
This is how the announcement went down among the Starbucks assholes in my office:
(read in a valley girl voice for full effect)
Starbucks asshole Karen - "OH-MY-GOD?!?!?! Since when do you only get a tall latte Judy?"
Starbucks asshole Judy - "Oh, well it's not my normal double shot half pump mocha, half pump vanilla chai latte with granulated cinnamon and light whip. It's a Pumpkin Spice Latte!"
Judy takes a drink at this point and really tries not to make a face like she just swallowed a spoon full of worms.
All Starbucks assholes in unison - "OH-MY-GOD?!?!?!!? it's Pumpkin Spice Latte time again! YEAH!!!"
The whole gaggle of assholes went down the block to get their tall pumpkin spice lattes instead of their normal venti-sized inventions. The reason everyone got a "tall" was simple - pumpkin spice lattes suck. There's no way these Starbucks assholes are going order a large cup of pumpkin piss - they're not going to drink the whole thing, it tastes like shit. They're ordering the pumpkin spice latte so they can tell people that they had a pumpkin spice latte. Nobody orders a pumpkin spice latte and keeps it to themselves - that would defeat the purpose. Ordering a pumpkin spice latte requires one to repeatedly post about it on Facebook and Twitter appealing to other people who truly think others are envious of their access to the rare and expensive palate punisher. Even deaf people have their own sign for pumpkin spice latte, because spelling it all out was an inefficient way of bragging - by the third "P" they were losing their audience.
Some of you are reading this and are denying the fact that pumpkin spice lattes taste like shit. Believe me, I have had a pumpkin spice latte - it tastes like shit if shit was infused with pumpkin. In a moment of drunk clarity/honesty a Starbucks asshole I know has admitted to me that he doesn't actually like the taste of a pumpkin spice latte. It's a status stimulator, not a palate stimulator.
My wife has four half-full pumpkin spice lattes in the fridge right now that she swears she's going to finish. She won't. Same thing in the work refrigerator - pumpkin spice lattes rotting amongst Lean Cuisines and week-old ham sandwiches. That's all the proof I need. Nobody likes pumpkin spice lattes, but nobody can admit it. Admitting you don't like pumpkin spice lattes out loud to your Starbucks asshole group would be like running into a crowd of middle-aged white people and declaring that you don't like the Beatles - it's very bad for your future as a part of society. You just don't do it.
So... go ahead Starbucks assholes - painfully sip your shitty little drink and tell everyone about it. Just know that I know the truth. I will not "like" your "Having a pumpkin spice latte in autumn - love this time of year!" status update. I will not retweet your "leaves, sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes is how I know it's fall!" tweet. I will not even engage you in conversation about the matter. I will simply sit here and wait patiently to announce to the world that the Eggnog Latte has arrived.