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The Battle of the Corporate Food that Wants to Tell Me How to Live My Life



Starbucks cups

VS

Taco Bell sauce packets

Because my white chocolate mocha has four Pulitzers.

Food has gotten awfully wordy in the past decade. Instead of merely being chewed and digested, it now demands your eyes and mind. Your coffee has something to say, dammit, and it refuses to sit idly by while you take for granted everything it stands for.

The Starbucks cups have only spoken up in the past couple of years, offering “The Way I See It” entries opposite the Starbucks logo. (Because, as they kindly point out, the words you are reading are the author’s opinion, not that of Starbucks. Despite the fact that they’ve chosen to put those words on their cups.) I don’t mind having a short poem or mini-rant accompanying my steaming cup of joy, but rarely find them of benefit to my coffee experience–they’re typically vague or overly schmoopy for my tastes. Given the option, I’d request Russell Edson poetry and Mitch Hedberg quotes on my cups. I also tend to get a lot of “We may be different, but our differences unite us!” spiels tossed at me. I’m a little sick of my latte accusing me of being racist.

The Taco Bell sauce packets are much simpler, to the point, and readily enjoyable. Though they attempt to use romantic trickery to get out of being devoured (see above image), the packets need not go to such extremes to win me over. They “had me at taco,” as some might say. Oh-ho, classic. With only a small space to get its point across, the Taco Bell sauce can’t be overly judgmental or demanding. Sometimes it questions its fate (”Why me, why now?”), sometimes it brags via l33t sp3@k (”IM A HOT T R U 2?”), and other times it just blatantly lies for the sake of a giggle (”I’m just doing this between films.”) Where Starbucks cups have started taking themselves way too seriously, Taco Bell sauce knows its meal is not a crucial part of our lives: we’re eating Taco Bell, for Pete’s sake.

Taco Bell sauce packets, for the win.

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