My niece, Makayla, upon graduating from high school in Utah County, spent a couple months working in one of the southern states. I think it was the one whose state flower is the tobacco leaf and the state bird is KFC. No no, not Kentucky. It's the one whose state quarter shows Foghorn Leghorn eating a bowl of grits.
Anyway, while she was there Makayla posted her Facebook status as, "Caramel Crème Frappuccinos." Now, some of you might have picked up on the fact that I am a Latter-day Saint or Mormon, as well as most of my extended family. Even if you don't know much about Mormons, you probably know that we don't drink coffee.
So naturally I began to fear for my niece's soul. Those pagan Southerners have corrupted her! I figured that Makayla was innocently drinking this carnal beverage, completely unaware of the presence of Beelzebub's roasted beans of degradation. So I commented on her status and said, "You do realize that's coffee, right?" She confidently explained, "No it isn't," and I countered with, "Yes it is." She said, "No, it's made with whole milk." I was beginning to see that Makayla was more than a match for my debate skills, so I appealed to my good friend, Google, to provide the evidence of Juan Valdez's sinful allurement. Aha! Um... it turns out that Starbucks has a line of coffee free "Crème" Frappuccinos. Makayla's soul was safe after all and I, her favorite uncle, had wrongfully accused her of being a doofus.
So I decided that I'd better try one of these Caramel Crème Frappuccinos and see for myself what all the fuss is about. It pretty much tasted like someone blended ice with milk and put some caramel in there. I guess it was okay, but I didn't get excited enough about it to make it my Facebook status.
While I was at Starbucks sitting in a comfy chair, sipping my coffeeless frap-based beverage and listening to the frap-based music, I looked around me and began to feel oddly out of place. No one told me that you were supposed to wear hemp jewelry and at least one article of tie-dyed clothing when you go to Starbucks. But the hippies were mostly pleasant and only one of them tried to educate me on the virtues of marijuana.
So while I may not share Makayla's enthusiasm for caramel flavored ice milk, at least she's not committing a grievous sin while she drinks it. She wouldn't have been the first Mormon I know to inadvertently drink coffee, though. Before we were married, my dear wife Lois's favorite drink was Ghiradelli Chocolate Mocha hot cocoa. If you clicked that link you noticed that coffee beans are pictured clearly on the label. Lois defended herself by explaining that the one she had was part of a holiday sampler and it didn't have coffee beans pictured. The fact that the name of the drink contains the word mocha didn't clue her in, apparently. But it's okay, she's been on the wagon for more than 10 years now.
I'd like to tell you more things about Lois that would embarrass her, but I'm almost out of Dr. Pepper and if I don't go get some now I don't know how I'm going to stay awake during church tomorrow.