Bad Taste Everywhere


After three days of weak campground coffee I was ready for a real cup. I wound down out of the mountains and drove through a series of small towns, looking for a Starbucks or even a coffee hut. Anything that didn’t taste like flavored water and have a name like CaffeineMax!!! would do.

An hour later I gave up and pulled into a Gas-N-Go. That sounds like the name of an exterminator business, not a place for coffee. And then I saw it – a coffee hut, sitting on the far edge of the parking lot. For a second I was stoked. But then I looked at the name and realized it was a bikini-barista place.

Do you have these where you live? Cheesy coffee stands where the women wear bikinis? They employ the brilliant business strategy of cutting out one of the two human genders from their potential customer base. For me they don’t pass the Mother-Sister test, in which you ask if you’d feel good frequenting the establishment if a female in your family worked there. Since degradation isn’t my thing, I went into Gas-N-Go.

A while back my mortgage broker told me a story about a guy who owned a chain of bikini coffee places in the Seattle-Everett area. The guy didn’t initially qualify for a home loan, but when he came back two days later he magically did. His financial situation had changed over night, but there was no record of a formal loan being made or any assets being sold to raise money. My mortgage broker theorized that some mob guys gave him a loan under the table to boost his numbers. But then a year later the guy went missing. The police found his car in the desert outside Las Vegas, charred to just the frame. And no sight of the guy anywhere.

I got some coffee from the urn in Gas-N-Go. There’s a reason the word “urn” is used to describe both a coffee holder in a convenience store and something you store human ashes in. I got onto the interstate and quickly hit a huge traffic jam, fifty miles from home. It was an “I hope a Camaro hit a guardrail and blew up, not general traffic volume” moment. But the traffic cleared up fairly quickly and I got home in decent time.

I’d like to think my coffee choices played a part in that.

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6 thoughts on “Bad Taste Everywhere”

  1. Just another mob and coffee shop story. I see it all the time. Boy meets mob. Boy opens bikini coffee shop. Boy gets charred to a crisp.

    so. typical.

  2. One day someone will write a book about how the search for a decent coffee shaped history. Meanwhile, if you are ever on the East coast try a cup of Dark French Roast from the WaWa convenience chain. I know, the chain sounds like the chorus from a radio jingle, but their French Roast is ….. Heavenly.

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