So the kids and I have this ritual on Saturday mornings: over to East Palo Alto to hit the Mac Shack for Egg McMuffins and then on to Starbucks to pick up some kind of grande dolceamericano venti halfcafnowhip with three shots for the wife, who’s back home getting a little extra snooze. I have no idea what I’m ordering, but I order it nonetheless. And I order in hopes of building some political capital with the honey.
Unfortunately, my capital depreciates like Lira.
(I should note that, after a few of these weekend frolics, the good folks of the Amex Fraud Department gave me a call to see if my card had been “compromised” because of all the activity in a hardscrabble zip code. I appreciated the call but had to explain to them that that’s how I roll; I’m down with the EPA.)
So there I am at Starbucks, and ahead of us in line is a landscaper ordering a coffee for himself and a hot chocolate for his little boy. And he’s ordering en Espanol, which I dig, since I love the rhythm and cadence of language, any language: the syncopated rat-tat of Spanish, the melodious sing-song of Caribbean French, the staccato chop-chop of the Slavics. These folks are the singers of our songs, the songs of Our Republic.
Then my man is done ordering, and the barista asks his name and, for the first time, he speaks in halting but certain English. In a startlingly full-throated voice he reports, “My name is DEM-OH-CRRRACY . . . my name is AH-MERRR-ICA.
Right on, brother. Right on.
[Back to PE with An Open Letter to Portfolio Company CEOs later this week.]