Last week I went out to a wedding in Springfield. Luckily there was a Starbucks nearby. Starbucks was a part of the theme to my friends' wedding. They met at the National Youth Workers Conference in a Starbucks in the hotel lobby. They talked for a while, were infatuated with each other until Jennifer's aunt Jean found me, and then I found Dan and got them connected.
Anyway....Ben (a junior in high school in our youth group) and I drove out together to Illinois. At different points along the road in Kansas we inquired about the location of a Starbucks. First, in Abilene, KS the hotel receptionist looked at me and said, "Isn't that one of those east coast things? I don't think they have any out here." First of all, I was insulted. Central to my identity is that I AM NOT an east coast liberal, and this woman implied that I was. Besides that it is a WEST COAST thing to begin with, and we know that all good things in America from blue jeans to legalized marajuana to good music start in the West and move East.
Then, in a slightly larger town with two or three colleges in it in KS (Salina) I decided to try again. (This was two days later on our return trip) I asked the woman at the convienience store if she knew of any Starbucks or something similar around. She said, "Isn't Starbucks a movie chain?". Now I have lived in towns without Starbucks for most of my life....but that is a little different than thinking Starbucks is a movie chain. So I got in the car and I told Ben my story and said, "That is it, we have to get out of this state as soon as we can!" He agreed and we sped out of Kansas as fast as we could. Ten miles from the border in Goodland we saw a truck stop that had a Starbucks.
"Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore!"