Home > Diversions > Coffee shop fun: More than meets the eye

Coffee shop fun: More than meets the eye

The leader of the Autobots likes his hot chocolate.

The leader of the Autobots likes his hot chocolate.

In an effort to stop customers from inadvertently grabbing the wrong order, coffee shops often ask for a name they can scribble on the side of their cardboard cups. At least that’s my guess as to why they ask for a name. If so, it generally works. Since they started asking for names I’ve not had my order accidentally snatched up by someone else in a hurry. My name, however, often gets butchered, so I decided to have a bit of fun during one of my visits.

Before I go on, I should mention I’m not upset they have creative spelling options or shortened versions of Patricia. Names are so varied that to expect them to get it right is unfair, especially when they’re getting your name quickly in a noisy coffee shop. If it’s close and it stops someone else from accidentally grabbing your drink, then it did its job. I’ve noticed a few sites now dedicated to Starbucks getting names wrong (here, here, and here). I’ve also noticed some are actually angry that either their name is wrong or they were asked in the first place. If you don’t want to give a name, make up a moniker. As for misspellings, does it really matter that much? It’s a cardboard coffee cup that’s going to end up in the trash. And yes, I say that as someone who double-checks names and spellings on a regular basis. You don’t want to get a name wrong, even just the spelling, in the news. There’s a reason spelling a name wrong was an “F-able” error in journalism school when I was in undergrad. But we’re talking about disposable coffee cups here.

So deciding to have a bit of fun, when asked for my name, I asked them to just write Optimus Prime on the cup. The barista laughed and said sure. Actually, he seemed a little disappointed when my cousin offered up a real name. He said he was expecting another Transformer.

Amused, I shared the photo with some friends, suggesting I found a solution to the “Trisha” that seemed to always end up on my cup. My brother saw my Optimus Prime and decided to raise me a Megatron.

"All Hail Megatron" he told me. Optimus Prime was not amused.

“All Hail Megatron” he told me. Optimus Prime was not amused.

And thus started a silly little game of coming up with another Transformer name each time a barista asked for something to write on the cup. We mostly stuck with the Autobots. All the baristas I dealt with were good natured about it. One even asked if I had a list of Transformer names at the ready. I didn’t, which is why we had duplicates. I thought it a bit odd when I opted to use Jazz (forgetting it had already been used) and I got “Jaz.” I guess they figured it was short for Jasmine or something. AdventureMan had more luck with that Autobot.

Now you know where Transformers go to refuel. There's Energon in these cups!

Now you know where Transformers go to refuel. There’s Energon in these cups!

Of course, it’s not only customers who have fun. There are lots of stories online about fun and flirty notes written on cups. MSN has something here.

As it turns out, the Transformers game seems to be over now. I was sent Napoleon. I have since replied with Josephine, so I guess we’re delving into history now. And here I was looking forward to using Elita 1 and Alpha Trion at some point. But history could be fun too.

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