Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thanks for stopping by

I currently have the misfortune to be in Utah County. Actually I shouldn't be so mean about it -- we are here to visit my Grandpa in the hospital, and there are actually some really lovely things around such as the mountains, the run path along the river that is two steps from my hotel door, and so on. But Grandpa lives in a tiny, tiny town called Payson, and there is one thing that is a consistent issue on visits to Payson (that I never noticed as a child), and that thing is COFFEE.

Oh, coffee. Now, while Payson is definitely coming up in the world, having now four or five stoplights instead of just the one it had when I was a young 'un, it still has a tendency to lack a few things. Once I was an adult I started realizing this. While going to the one bar in town at night can have its charms, there is nothing charming whatsoever about being without coffee in the morning. It did not help things any that my grandpa drinks instant. Instant?! Sigh. Other choices include the truck stop, the McDonalds...well, you get the picture.

I loved when I had a rental car of my own here; I would conveniently find all sorts of urgent errands that would take me 15 minutes down the highway into Provo/Orem where there are things like Borders! Barnes & Noble! and even this past decade a Starbucks! near the University Mall. But I don't always have control over transportation...or let's say it's a somber family event, then one is frowned upon if one is freaking out too much about one's preferred caffeine.

Well, a couple of my cousins from Southern California (hello) understand me, and last summer when we were all here for the summer gathering of the flock, one of them called me at Grandpa's one morning to breathlessly announce that she was standing in front of a brand new Starbucks IN PAYSON! Joy! Rapture! The heavens opened up! I drank grande iced lattes the next three days in a row. In Payson. Truly a miracle.

Now here we are and this afternoon we left my grandpa's Payson hospital room for a bit to check on his house, etc. I took the rental car and headed over to the Starbucks (located next to the Walmart, but I just try to ignore it) and MUCH to my dismay I see that it is not open today. What?!! Granted, things in Utah County have a very frustrating tendency to be closed on Sundays but really??? Starbucks? I parked the car because I could see some sort of typewritten sign in the window, so I went to investigate.

Folks, I kid you not. It said, "In anticipation of the upcoming closure of this store" (no!!! recession or not can't you just hang on!!!) "our summer reduced hours will be Mon-Fri 7 a.m. to such-and-such, closed on Saturday and Sunday." Sigh. So that's why it was closed today, and I was definitely out of luck. And what a tragedy that it will apparently be entirely gone by my next visit. But just to add insult to injury, the sign continued, "We encourage you to visit our nearest other locations, at 555 or whatever E University Parkway in Orem" -- yeah, my previous invented-errand-go-to that I don't have time to hit this afternoon -- "or at such-and-such South Whatever in Cedar City."

Um, excuse me? Cedar City? That's only like three and a half hours south of here. More than halfway to Vegas. Hello! No wonder this location is closing, I thought, if its management can't think to edit this corporate-spewed sign of the next closest locations to the north and south, even if the south location is hours away ... And then I realized the true tragedy that probably half their market DID consist not of morning commuters but of freeway stopovers who spotted that beloved green logo and pulled off of I-15. Drivers who would in fact hunker back down, never having expected to stop in Payson, maybe never even remembering that there was a Payson, and note to their selves that there'd be a Venti frap awaiting them in Cedar.

Payson may be able to sustain a Walmart and multiple stoplights now, but when it comes to addictive coffee culture it's still just a no-horse town.

1 comment:

Kim Diaz said...

Nothing but sorrow. Truly.