Room to Walk: Make It Viral!

No, we don't want any damn cream in our coffee!


For too long the well-meaning baristas of Seattle have been politely inquiring, "Room for cream?" Which, frankly, we take as an insult. Fine, they were trained to ask the question by Starbucks or some other such coffee-hawking employer, but it creates a false hierarchy among us caffeine-dependent customers. The query privileges an absence, as it were, ranking your to-go order status on the basis of something that many consider a contamination of their drink. (Are people who prefer it straight and black to be treated as second-class citizens?) To those who enjoy coffee in its unadulterated form, in order to avoid to prevent spillage, answering "Yes" to the server feels like a lie, a bad-faith statement obtained under Abu Ghraib-like duress. It's a betrayal of the very desire that brings us to the counter in the first place. We don't want less coffee; we only want to avoid burned fingers and coffee-stained shirtfronts when the stuff bubbles through the supposedly secure lids. And we certainly don't want milk. Thus, to assert our equal rights as coffee drinkers, I propose the following manifesto. Preempt the whole "room for cream?" conundrum, avoid mentioning pollutants (milk, cream, sugar). Spread the phrase, chant the slogan. Say it loud, order it proud: Room to walk.

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