Ugh, the suction of an unwanted element on the bottom of my shoe with rapidly-reviving viscosity: previously-owned, recently discarded gum. And then I saw them: circles of gobbed out, pre-chewed, black-as-tar aliens, pock-marking the pavement all around, like sleeper agents waiting for the right temperature to reactivate their sticky anti-gravity pull.

I had stepped out of my car and was additionally accosted by a sharp tarmac surge on my tender adenoids. I returned to my vehicle, careful not to float off on a tangent as the heat-induced gremlins in the system strangled first the air-conditioning, then the All’s-Well purr of the engine.

A screech of rubber tyres, in league with blood-boiling temperatures, pounded to soften and turn into sludge the roadways ahead of me, like some plot to keep me from my destination.

Somehow I crawled home, bewitched by the images, the witness of a hot afternoon in July. Perhaps my previous focus on the Witches of Wooky Hole had provoked a recollection of

Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. [ Shakespeare, Macbeth ]

which was to become the premise of my summary for the sweltering jaunt. If only it were that simple; but my mind works on different levels and has been known to take a dyslexic delight in rearranging superficial words with triple-level meanings. On top of which, I’d been handed “bump” as the poetic challenge of the day. And so ensued an encryption conversation perhaps better taken at face value…

[ coffee_offline ] Cauldron bubble weather: broiling(1) tar(2) bumps against nosebuds, tribbles(3) pop up unexpectedly to sluggishly toil the motor engine. Witchery?

[ NewsyGal ] What is a tribble?

[ coffee_offline ] The Trouble with Tribbles http://bit.ly/15MHdm (I see we have to work on the “science”-fiction thaing)

[ NewsyGal ] And what are nosebuds?

[ coffee_offline ] Nosebuds (like taste buds) are sense(less) plays on words with Macbeth’ized requotes to illustrate unexpectedly hot temperatures

[ coffee_offline ] Oh, and then there’s tar which has a whole load of connotations incl http://en.wikipedia.org/wik… – but I meant tarmac as in road

[ NewsyGal ] You’re an odd duck no question about it.

[ coffee_offline ] Actually, I should write an instruction manual or academic paper to go with my tweets – maybe I’ll get an honourable something or other 😉

[ NewsyGal ] Maybe if your tweets require encyclopedias to decipher, it’s time to simplify. Charles & I rarely know what you’re saying.

[ bryanbellars ] Only understanding about 50%, I’ve always assumed your tweets travel at a much deeper level.More like twoots 🙂

[ BruceStewart ] An analysis of your tweets & interactions should be worth a Ph.D. dissertation in sociology at least!

Additional dissection for my non-US readers:

(1) “broil” is the North American term for what in the UK might be known as “grill in the oven”. Broil as used here relates to the witches’ “toil”.

(2) “tar” – remember the stories of Br’er Rabbit? This one was a particularly sticky situation.

(3) Tribbles [ Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles & Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations] are seemingly cute relaxants, depending on your ear sensitivity, but they multiply and eat you out of house and home (much like my car’s problems). Spock quotes of them: “They toil not, neither do they spin”. Tribble, which sounds like “trouble”, here links to the magnified trouble as portrayed by Macbeth’s witches.


The new season of red products at Starbucks no longer portray both US and Canadian $ prices. Smart move, that. Here’s another move: 

When I saw – for the first time – outdoor advertising for Starbucks last year (seasonal beverages in Vancouver), I was surprised that the marketers at the green mermaid had shifted their mix to pedestrian advertising. At the time I guessed it was a local, cultural thing, and parked it for future reference. Now, however, a blitz of seasonal TV ads is about to hit national screens, initially in the US. Wieden & Kennedy, the agency that transported those other west coast Americana brands Nike and Microsoft around the world, is tasked with developing a global brand message for the red cup parade. As quoted in today’s Advertising Age, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz feels the whole advertising thing is a natural evolution to gain increased leverage. Oh well then. Certainly as the brand reaches maturity, markets saturate, share prices fall and competitors step in to cross the chasm, Starbucks feels the heat to reinvent itself, its offering, or its target audience. Does this herald a mermaid branded burger? 

Personally I feel that Starbucks would be well advised to offer free wifi in its stores. This may not induce users to double up on their caffeine intake, but it would certainly fill the seats and send out the signal to open another Starbucks just over the road.