Close to Home by John McPherson - ucomics.comWhen I first laid eyes on this cartoon, I responded with a heartfelt, "Yes!" John McPherson captured my feelings perfectly. No, I have not launched a boycott of any sorts against St. Arbucks (Starbucks), and I have been known to give away their gift cards, even recently on this blog. Simply put, St. Arbucks is never my first choice in coffee as long as I have other options. And certainly with this caffeinated institution so prominent in our communities — sometimes only an inch apart — my visits are based solely on convenience and a lack of choices.
It has nothing to do with the product. It has everything to do with the neighborhood bully. I have seen many thriving Mom and Pop coffee businesses forced out of existence by a St. Arbucks moving in next door when there was already another location a minute or so away. The charm and hometown atmosphere of a privately owned business slowly disappears into the shadows of corporate domination.
This was proved out when a quaint little coffee shop opened its doors near Long Beach State University. It began to draw customers content to have decent coffee without logos stamped on their beverage containers. Within a few short months, a representative of St. Arbucks showed up to make an offer on their business, explaining that their facility — located 1/16th of a mile up the street — didn't have enough parking. Their offer was declined; however, when the owners had to sell their business due to health issues, that St. Arbucks rep had vaporized.
I have never understood how something as enormous as St. Arbucks can feel threatened by small business. Some people aren't happy until they have it all. As a kid, I was not fond of bullies. I don't like them any better now.