Tuesday, June 22, 2004

On the bus on the way back home I saw a bunch of little kids going to the community center, and their beautiful instructor telling them that Starbucks is evil, there are too many of them and that they all need to go away. She told them never to buy anything at Starbucks, ever, which I felt was unlikely given that they are six years old (although a six-year-old probably has a good amount of power over their parent's purchasing decisions by the scream-and-whine method).

Now, whenever I have to explain something to myself, I like to hear what it would sound like if I were explaining this to a three-year-old. So, in the space of about five minutes, I had given a quick lesson to the imaginary children in my head on how Starbucks is huge and has lots of money, whereas a samll coffee shop doesn't have so much, so it's good to help out the smaller coffee shop because they're the ones who need it most. Also, if you buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks it goes directly to the rich guys in control of the company, so it just makes the rich richer. Eventually, some money trickles down to the people working at the store; but if you buy a cup of coffee from an independent shop, the money goes directly to the people who work there. Also, it's important for a city to have its own sustainable economy (okay, I don't think a six-year-old could go much farther than this) rather than one dependant upon large corporations which could pack up and move at any moment.

Sadly, the kids got off the bus at the moment I was seriously considering asking the instructor if I could stand in for a moment and give the kids a quick economics lesson (one better than "Starbucks is big and therefore evil"), but it was a good exercise. They say that anybody who cannot explain what they say to a six-year-old is a charlatan. So, practice saying things to imaginary six-year-olds, and the world will make a lot more sense.

Or maybe I just have a really, really, idealistic picture of motherhood.

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