Scatterlings: Starbucks addicts, effin' weeds, Monty Python shame
Starbucks: Don't hold out on me, man!
Sometimes I like to add a dash of nutmeg to my morning latte (it goes especially well with vanilla), and I was wondering the other day about why I was having difficulty finding the little spice shaker at the Starbucks near work.
At first, I thought it just needed a refill and someone had neglected to bring it back to the fixings bar. Nope. Day after day, the cinnamon, chocolate, and vanilla shakers remained and the nutmeg had disappeared.
When I inquired, the barista cheerfully handed it across the counter. Asked why it was not really available “over the counter” anymore, so to speak, she evaded the question.
Fair enough. She was busy. Even the honey jars had been relegated to a “need to ask” basis a while back, presumably because of frequent hijackings. That stuff’s not cheap anymore. Colony collapse disorder, don’t you know. I had no idea about the cost of nutmeg, though. (But do thieves even do much holiday baking?)
Later, I remembered reading--many years ago, in The Autobiography of Malcolm X--about prisoners using nutmeg to get high. I was a teenager then, so, naturally, it intrigued me, but I never followed through and tried it myself. I wondered now if maybe curiosity about the psychoactive properties of nutmeg was becoming in vogue.
However, it has long been known that certain holiday refreshments heavy on nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and even pepper can have an “elevating” effect on imbibers’ moods. That’s why they’re called “festive” drinks.
So maybe I just like to feel that way all year. So what?
It’s not like I need it! Who’s getting defensive!
Things I’m kind of ashamed to say I didn’t know
It wasn’t until I was 15 years old or so, back when I exhaled carbon dioxide in Toronto, that I realized that those flowers/weeds with the puffy, white heads that you blew on to explode a cloud of floating seed parachutes were actually dandelions.
You know, dandelions: those yellow flowers/weeds that were in that exact same place on the same lawn only a few days before? Every year? Since the Cretaceous Period in the Mezozoic Era?
I even remember exactly where I was when the realization struck me: on St. Clair Avenue West, across the street from Holy Rosary Church. And I still remember how stupid I felt. I take these things personally.
It wouldn’t be the first time Taraxacum officinale would cross my path.
Speaking about English-language corruptions of French words (dandelion from dent de lion), in the 1974 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the reverse happened.
Even though I was (and still am) an unapologetic freak about that film, it never occurred to me what the French soldiers were referring to when they hilariously insulted the “English k-nnniggets”. Don’t know why. Those things usually bother me to no end. I hate not knowing things.
Anyhow, a couple of my siblings were offhandedly joking about it many years later when they saw my uncomprehending look.
And you know they drew it out at great length, gleefully and painfully.