By Justin Porter* (with contributions from Cazey Williams)
As we are all aware, the campaign for America’s 45th president is in full swing – full of gossip, scandals, lies, and more lies. Cazey and I frequently discuss the hilarity (and absurdity) of it all, even if it is reality. Most recently, we conjectured what it would be like if Hillary, Trump, and Bernie all walk into a Starbucks together, because, why not?
(Probably because we’re addicted to caffeine actually.)
Picture it: A bustling Starbucks on a busy NYC street corner (appropriate since all three candidates have ties to New York). There’s probably a five-minute wait to talk to the cashier and another 10-minute wait until your drink is ready; most people ignore your presence.
The baristas are all starving, high school- and college-aged millennials (or maybe they’re actors), each equipped with iPhone 7S’s and tattoos because everyone else has one, duh!
Bernie walks in first. He supported Starbucks from the beginning, when it was just a fledgling café in Seattle and no one else supported it. He orders a pike roast (after himself waiting in the five-minute and then 10-minute line). No cream and no sugar. He mutters to the barista (more like whisper-bellows), “You know, it’s unfair that the top 1% get everything sweetened for them.”
He takes his seat, knowing he can always wait in line again like every other American and refill his cup for a small price that is much like a tax increase.
Trump storms in next - once the Secret Service paves a way for him to walk, wide enough so no human contact is possible from anyone. He thanks everyone for being in attendance, though only those have the Fox News app on their iPhone 4 and/or flip phone pay attention. He explains his love for Starbucks: “I love these hard-working baristas. Good people. They’ve worked hard, and they are great people. Very smart. I’ve even had a few of them on my yacht before. They worked the bar.”
He steals the seat of a mother who had just gotten up to throw away something and waits for his Trenta Caramel Frappuccino. After all, calories are made up and part of the liberal agenda.
Last but never least (because she was actually the first to be in the White House of all the candidates running, in case you didn’t know), Hillary strolls in. Joyfully sobbing crowds follow her, carrying hardback versions of “Hard Choices” and holding out their phones for a Snapchat selfie. She smiles at every person in the Starbucks and continues smiling at the barista.
Since she's been to Washington before, I mean Starbucks before, she knows how Starbucks works. She stares at the menu. “Do you have coffee with ice here?” she asks.
“We have iced coffee,” the barista replies.
“I will have a coffee with ice and milk, in that case.” She then flashes her trademark smile. She continues standing at the cash register smiling.
“You can wait for your drink over there,” the barista says.
She smiles and lets an aide usher her away from counter. She notices Trump with his enormous Frappuccino. She grabs her aide and whispers in his ear, “Send out an email right now, ‘#ImWithFrap’ in the headline. Be sure to send it from the private server.”
Trump finds a 2002 copy of The National Inquirer on a coffee table. He reads a headline (and nothing more) before exclaiming, “How crooked of Starbucks to charge extra for soy milk. What a rip-off. People should know to keep their dietary restrictions to themselves. This is America! We won’t let soy milk into the country if I’m president.”
Bernie, meanwhile, sips his pike roast while a bird sits on his shoulder. He adds to Trump’s outburst: “The poor should be able to afford soy milk! If Wall Street and their recklessness…” He trails off.
CNN has finally made it to the Starbucks to observe these candidates in caffeination. The camera pans back to Hillary, who has found the nearest adopted baby in the Starbucks (she passed over her own grandchild in Chelsea’s arms) and holds it, saying, “This baby is more than a barista’s child. This is our future.”
Bernie has stood up by now, but the camera didn’t catch that because they were focused on Hillary with the adopted baby. A crowd has gathered around him. They all sport backpacks with Feel The Bern buttons beside recycling and “Coexist” stickers and have skipped their freshman sociology class (today’s lecture was supposed to be on “pragmatic solutions versus fantasies”).
Bernie explains to them the corporate greed of Starbucks and repeats, “To beat Wall Street, we must protest the Starbucks Rewards program. We must make them Feel The Bern. Turn up the heat on the coffee!”
Hillary tries telling the crowd she loves hot black coffee, too, as her aide hands her her iced coffee with milk.
In the meantime, Trump is building a wall of sugar packets between himself and another customer. He glances at his watch and makes one last plea that Starbucks stop promoting recycling, leaving the wall standing. He exits the building after asking his Secret Service to teargas everyone outside.
From his private helicopter, he tweets, “You know, I have always had stock in Starbucks. Great company. The CEO and I go way back. Today I will promise a million dollars to the Veterans of Starbucks Association.”
Someone tweets back a screenshot of a 2011 tweet showing the Donald beaming with Dunkin’ Donuts in hand.
Hillary has grown frustrated with the youths circling Bernie. She smile-shouts to anyone who will listen, “I support fair trade coffee and small businesses, and I always have. I invested in Teavana before anyone else.”
Bernie concludes his shouting by demanding a recount of every coffee bean in every store in every state. “Everyone deserves a fair number of beans and flavor in their drink,” he reminds voters. “Every coffee cup deserves a chance. The system is rigged. If I am president, we’ll get rid of Starbucks.”
Finally, Hillary’s supporters burst into the shop (having escaped Trump’s teargas). They chant, “I’m with Frap!” She finishes her iced coffee as fast as possible and tells the mother of the adopted baby, “I was drinking a frappe.”
“A Frappuccino,” her aide corrects.
“We must not support coffee beans,” Bernie yells. “We must overthrow coffee. If I am president, we will overthrow coffee as chairwoman! I will appoint espresso beans.”
Hillary shoves her way to the microphone and exclaims, “I AM ELECTABLE. I AM FUN!”
Okay, so maybe we should drink less caffeine.
*Justin Porter graduated from James Madison University in 2015. He has written for ATOB several times and was most recently featured in Cazey Williams' post, "The Illegal Roommate." You can tweet him or like his photos. If you are interested in guest blogging for ATOB, email us at AsToldOverBrunch@gmail.com.