Looking back at ‘Emerald Kingdom invades’

I was a newspaper columnist in Vacaville, Calif., years ago and wrote about an invading force from the north. Of course, it was a weakly veiled reference to Starbucks. This is part of that column that appeared March 24, 2004, in The Reporter, the newspaper in Vacaville, which holds the copyright.

Emerald Kingdom invades

Ye fair citizens of Vacaville, am I the only one who has noticed that we are under attack!

The invasion began a few years hence. Knights from the Emerald Kingdom to the north came wearing bright green tunics with a medallion at the center depicting the kingdom’s queen. They spoke a strange, new language of venti and laite and Frappucciono. Even today the language baffles the mind and twists the tongue.

These knights – warriors of all shapes and sizes, but mostly youthful – wield no swords or pikes. No, they brought with them a more sinister weapon – caffeinated drinks – and devices with which to amalgamate caffeinated drinks. And pastries, yes, they brought pastries, too.

Later they brought their wares to markets and there anyone could barter for a bag o’ beans and partake of the caffeinated drinks in the comfort of their own castle.

And with these tools the warriors from the Emerald Kingdom continued their worldwide conquest. Today, in Vacaville alone, the Emerald Kingdom has at least seven strongholds: one on Nut Tree Parkway near Helen Power Drive; another on Davis Street a few blocks south of Mason Street; one each in two grocery stores of the same chain, with another to open in a rival grocery store; another in a neighboring discount department store; and a drive-through version on Alamo Drive at Butcher Road, where a person can fill up their car with gas, get it washed, grab a grande double-shot mocha, and pick up some cornnuts, all in one stop.

I admit that I have somewhat succumb to the caffeinated drinks – some concoctions of which certainly must be the work of witchery – and the somewhat contrived atmosphere of the Emerald Kingdom strongholds. It does a soul good to sit in the out-of-doors sipping a caffeinated drink.

But I do wonder when the quest for world domination will end. Or if it will end on this planet. Imagine a kiosk of the Emerald Kingdom awaiting astronauts to arrive on Mars.

I think I need a caffeinated drink. And now.

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