I see it now, an excited overcaffeinated exchange in a Seattle hipster coffee den on a gloomy, drizzly day (when isn't it, in Seattle?). Through just-burned coffee lips and with shaking hands, someone jumps out of their reclaimed wood chair and shouts, "Hey! I know this Colombian coffee is so monster good by itself -- maybe a little raw sugar and organic cream added for those who need it unleaded a bit -- but WHY NOT
"Know what I'm thinking? Pumpkinize it! I'll text my mom, I know she's got a can of pumpkin puree left over from that last Thanksgiving with grandma, and some cloves for sure, and a 1976 Spice Island container of Pumpkin Spice. Let's have at it!"
Then a chorus of jittery yesssssss punches the air. Wiping the beaded sweat from their upper lips, the hipsters agree, "Totes McGotes!" And so they did.
They high fructose corn syrup candy-corned the heck out of something so pure and beautiful and now people no longer depend on their calendars to announce the first day of fall, nope... the season change from summer to autumn is proclaimed by sidewalk chalkboards, in architectural style scroll: PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES ARE HERE!
We can tell our children that we remember the days when fall started on September 21, if they'll believe us. Though probably not. They'll shake their little heads and say, "No no no. Simply can't be. I mean, if that's true, then why am I holding a Pumpkin Spice Latte in my hand? And it's September 1? Explain that, Mom." I can't, because the devotion to the Pumpkin Spice Latte is legendary, it's a lifestyle.
Finally, to get my PSL friends (I keep PSL friends separate from nonPSL for obvious reasons) off my back, I gave in and tried the drink. First, let me say that I had been promised oral sensory delight that would be beyond culinary imagination. With that promise in mind, I ordered my first PSL. My reaction?
I had to tweet and Facebook it:
And then these started flying back:
The urban whisperings of people being prescribed Paxil and Prozac when drive-thru placing their Grande Venti Trenta sized orders for the clove/nutmeg/cinnamon sweet cream mix and being told they're Sold OUT are not a myth. Sold Out? you say? American Pumpkin Heads cannot deal.
Watch this and see:
I just can't with the Pumpkin Spice Par-Taaay. I don't care what anyone says, and it's not just because my thunder has been stolen from no longer being able to say that my birthday is on the first day of fall (September 21 for anyone who wants to remember) because a superdiculous drink like the Pumpkin Spice Latte's arrival now heralds as the first day of fall.
Well, ok, maybe a little.
I tried, America, but after years of self-identifying my date of birth with the start of autumn, the odds were against me and the Pumpkin Spice Latte ever bedding down together.
And the fact that sipping it was akin to sucking up volcanic ash, made the syrupy oversweetness of charred firewood that much more of an occasion to celebrate. I was not going to like you, Mr. Pumpkin Head.
Still, I will be gracious and wish you a happy tenth birthday, Pumpkin Spice Latte. But not without adding, never has it been easier to say no to 510 calories. But, hey, if you're into what the portal to hell tastes like, I get it.
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** if you want to see some real fun, follow the #pumpkinspice hashtag on twitter. These people give a new meaning to the word devotion.