coffee and countables

What is it with coffee shops and countability?

I’ve commented in the past on the Starbucks slogan “Less napkins. More plants. More planet.” *

Today, though, it’s Coffee #1 who have offended my grammatical – and poetical – sensibilites. Again, it’s napkins (or serviettes):

coffee #1 napkin

The verse says:

Napkins are made from precious trees
Which house our birds and feed our bees
Help save our trunks, branches and seeds
Take only the amount you REALLY need!

It’s horrifying to think they must have paid someone to write that. And someone else to design the layout and draw the squiggly stylised trees, and someone else to print it. And nowhere along the line did anyone question either the phrasing or the scansion.

The only justification I can find for returning there for coffee is that they are coveniently located half way between the train station and the bus station in a town that is built on a steep hill. And they do have this rather splendid Dylan Thomas quote on the wall:

When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.

Which gives me an excuse to include one of my favourite quotes from Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.

Actually, that’s one of my favourite quotations from anywhere.

*(I’ve no idea if Starbuck’s still use that slogan as I do tend to avoid the coffee chains, except, perhaps, Nero‘s whose wifi connection has served me well on my travels. Not to mention their cheese twists or whatever they’re called. And I think their napkins are plain.)

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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