An Open Book: Have I Got A Rumor For You!

An Open Book
Have I Got A Rumor For You!

One of the surprising facts I have learned as a county councilor is how quickly a rumor can take on a life of its own, especially if it involves the ever conspiratorial local government. I have decided to take the bull by the horns and start a rumor of my own, which I document below. The county has nothing to do with it, but then, that is what we would say anyway, wouldn’t it?


After months of negotiations, Chiliworks has agreed to partner with Starbucks on a new project that will address the critical local need for authentic breakfast burritos chased by Arabian Mocha soy lattes. The Starbucks located on Central Avenue will be the only outlet in the country that will offer the famous breakfast burritos as an alternative to the usual scones, croissants and lemon pound cake.

“We are still working out the bugs,” said Starbucks day manager Harry Burger. “Starbucks has an extensive training program for barristas,” he explained, “but making good chile is more of an art than a science.” Mr. Burger was nevertheless very optimistic about the partnership. “I think it is a marriage made in heaven. We will now have a place where people who want to sip their espresso while enjoying the New York Times can also get a little something that will set their eyelashes on fire, but without having to read anything related to Donald Trump.”

Chiliworks is also expanding their offerings. “We are going to start slow,” said Chiliworks proprietor Esteban Lena. “Our first move is to offer a line of bottled Starbucks frappuccinos in addition to the usual sodas and juices. We did try some outdoor seating shaded by Cinzano umbrellas for those customers who wanted to eat their burritos in a more cosmopolitan setting. However, they kept getting run over by RPM patrons checking out their freshly tuned-up engines, so we got rid of the tables.”

A big plus is that service will be more efficient, he added.

“We are going to accept the Starbucks iPhone app. I’m really looking forward to that, because right now it takes us about .04 seconds to fill an order, but we need to do something to get people through in .01 seconds or less. The line is getting so long at times that we had mobs of high school teachers riot twice this school year alone,” he said.

Mr. Lena does worry about a culture clash.

“My cooks already told me that they’ll refuse to serve guys in turtlenecks and tweed jackets,” he said. “However, they’re excited about checking out those preppy lady postdocs. They said to come over anytime and they’ll show them some real northern New Mexican hospitality.”

Some of the potential customers were excited, too.

“I am in too much of a hurry in the morning and can’t decide whether I want to burn my stomach with coffee so hot it melts the wax off the cup, or with a burrito that eats through the aluminum wrapper,” Starbucks regular Brian Badheart said. “Now I can have both and start my morning right, at least until I pass out from intestinal bleeding.”

Matty Lindason agreed. “I can’t tell you how many times I wished I could dip a burrito into my grande Brazil Ipanema Bourbon Mocha Americano. I’m so excited, I can’t wait!!!,” she cried.

Any downside?

“My biggest concern,” admitted Mr. Burger, “is whether our customers are going to be able to properly combine Spanish, Italian and English in one order. I worry that someone will ask for a burrito with ‘venti red chile’ and the kitchen will go ‘critical.’ That’s the last thing Los Alamos needs right now, and I can’t afford to install glove boxes.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Burger thinks the new venture will make his Starbucks location the highest volume locale in the country. And his secret strategy?

“If sales don’t meet our projections, we just make the chile a notch ‘mas picante’.” He winked. “They’ll be begging for refills after having one of these babies,” he smiled as he pointed to the veggie-green-with-cheese in his hand. “It’s gonna be a goldmine.”