Starbucks Store Manager Julie Sandos was nonplussed. “It smells like a Starbucks. What did he expect? Starbucks is Starbucks.”
Northampton authorities working with the EPA and the Fire Department ascertained that the shop was well below the maximum allowable Coffee to Oxygen levels, or COUGH ratio set by Starbucks voluntarily after Congress neglected to act due to the spread of lobbyists with Mocha Beverage Coupons. Calls to Starbucks Corporate Headquarters went unanswered. At press time, a voice mail said they were out for coffee.
Minutes before the incident, witnesses testified that the man, whose name was being withheld, appeared to be inhaling on the corner of Main and Sixth, just one block North of Starbucks. Police investigators standing on the same corner smelled nothing, although Sam’s allergies are acting up and Norbert has a cold.
“After buying gum at the drug store, I was unsure whether I had time to get a coffee before the bus came,” said the victim. “I could smell it from where I stood. When I decided to chance it, my breathing grew faster and I crossed the street.”
EMT’s at the site subjected the victim to a battery of tests and told him that if he passed he’d get a medal. When his medal mettle failed, he sued.
“Coffee has been good to me,” he said on the witness stand. “Damn good. And damn too, those who drink it. Excepting of course, licensed news media.”
Search crews are working through the night to find the cup the victim would have gotten if he’d stayed in line and save it for posterity. Critics argue posterity is purposeless and should be recycled.
Already donors have come forth and an architect has been chosen to design a Memorial Library which will be named after the victim, pending positive identification.
A Quinnipiac poll of registered voters shows overwhelming support for the library as long as it includes a working Starbucks or an Apple store preferably one that also serves donuts. Voters split on naming rights. 22% thought the Corporate name Starbucks should not be in the title, 10% thought the name should honor long lines through history and those who have waited in them, and 45% wanted glazed with sprinkles.
A prison term is possible.