Pat Kiernan, the morning anchor at the NY1 cable news channel in New York (and, incidentally, the host of VH1’s World Series of Pop Culture a few years back), is doing something with which anyone who’s a regular at a certain ubiquitous coffee chain will identify. Based on a friend-of-a-friend’s idea, he’s asking people to send him pictures of Starbucks cups with their names butchered by the barista. He’s calling it “Starbucks: Where No One Knows Your Name.”
Now, I can only imagine that not everyone falls victim to name-butchering at Starbucks. They can’t screw up “John” or “Bob” or “Chris,” can they? Maybe they can, but you need to have a name that’s easily misheard to get the real Starbucks Name treatment. A name like, oh, say, “Perry,” which they’ll turn into “Terry,” “Penny,” “Larry,” and practically anything BUT “Perry,” even though I habitually spell it out. Why I don’t just give them “Bob,” I don’t know. But if I go there — good thing I don’t drink coffee, so it’s only for the occasional tea or hot chocolate — I have to listen carefully for whatever name they’ve assigned to me. It’s never actually MY name.
Pat’s first day of viewer/reader submissions include Erica spelled “Ecria” and Phoebe as “Feebe” and “Phobia.” I didn’t know they had an auto-correct problem there. Send him your pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org, but you can also reveal the various Starbucksian manglings of your name in the comments right here.