The Super-Long Coffee Orderer! Myth or Monster?


May 05, 2008


Are you from the Pacific Northwest or do you live here (I mean in the vicinity stretching from Seattle to Portland and surrounding areas. . .  this region is sometimes referred to as Cascadia by sociologists, marketers, and even liberal separatists)?  If your answer is yes,  then this is not for you. This is for everyone else, the people that live in the rest of the world.




Recently a local insurance company called PEMCO started featuring fictional but typical NW types on their television ads. The good natured-stereotypes are intended to be funny because they contain just enough truth to be recognizable to the rest of us who occupy this gray little sliver of temperate Pacific rainforest.  


Among those featured on these television spots is the compulsive recycler, who diligently separates colored glass and plastic grades into separate containers late into the night in a highly organized garage-based operation.  Then there is the chainsaw artist, the guy who works in the woods, but in his spare time makes those rough-hewn statues of sasquatches, bears and eagles that you see for sale along the highway, particularly on the Olympic Peninsula and the roads leading to the coast from Portland.


There is also a family profile, called the “blue tarp” family, which is characterized by a dedication to camping regardless of the weather report.  If it rains, which it usually does here, they carry on all normal camping activities regardless, only under a blue tarp strung between tree branches.





Soon there will be another “type” added to the series.  The agency refers to this one as Northwest Profile #76.  This is the Super-Long Coffee Orderer.  It is described as follows:   


“He’s a man who knows what he wants out of life.  And he doesn’t mind making half the neighborhood wait while he gets it.  Like a medieval alchemist, he guides the hapless barista through a winding labyrinth of seemingly incongruous ingredients and commands.  Don’t forget to leave the top off so he can put on his own sprinkles.”


Does this profile ring true to you?  If you live outside the Northwest but have spent time here, or if you have recently moved here, I would love to get your impression.  Maybe you are this person?


My feeling is that Profile #76 may actually be a reality, just one that I personally don’t  see. Maybe because I am too close to the subject, inside the experiment.  To help you answer this question, some additional distinguishing features of the Super-long Coffee Orderer have also been helpfully provided by the agency.  These include spotted at (in line in front of you);  diet (. . . and a toasted bagel); vehicle (Honda Accord, although I would suggest Prius or Subaru); and song (Tom Petty’s, The Waiting).


Again if any of these things ring true for you, please let me know.  Oh, and I’ve now got plenty of tattoo shots so no need to send any more of these.  Thanks.


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Eric Perkunder





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