Excuse the bastardized Marcy Playground's "Sex and Candy" reference above, but I can't help it after paying a visit to my neighborhood Coffee Exchange.
I've always liked those coffee protectors (I can't remember what the technical term is for the cardboard cozy that goes around the paper cup to keep your hands burn-free), because I like to get two and put them around my wrists and remember the days when Wonder Woman was on TV Saturday mornings. Those were the days, before 24-hour children's programming on cable TV made Saturday mornings like any other morning. Know what I mean?
As usual, I digress.
Coffee Exchange has been a nice place for me to go the past few months to work between office and home. The coffee isn't amazing, and the food is not so great, although the new omelet wrap is gaining popularity. It's open 24/7. The guys behind the counter are funny. They have electric outlets all along the walls, and no one seems to mind when you're yelling on your cell phone. Late, late at night, the crowd is like a caffeinated version of the Buffet (except no closing), with a mix of college students and homeless people coming in off the streets for a cup of coffee. I've been feeling like I had a nice little office away from the office.
Then last week, I did a double take at my coffee cozy, or whatever, when I noticed it went from being a cardboard band with the Coffee Exchange logo --- to an advertisement for Maiden Form bras' The Smooth Bra.
It features a picture of two women--one in a black Smooth Bra and the other in a beige one. All the girls are looking well-supported, and the women in the pictures seem, well, ready to you know ... do it, but only after you drink your Joe first.
I asked a lady in line with me if she was as thrilled as I to get a cup of coffee with a bra ad attached.
"Well, it's not what you expect, but I guess some guys are pretty happy to get their coffee here," she said, smiling.
Perhaps, I thought.
Driving home, however, I wondered if all my trips to Coffee Exchange and these new Wonder Woman bracelets would leave me worried that I just didn't have enough support in my life. OK, forget about that ... but it is interesting how all forms of advertising slip into our lives - even at the Coffee Exchange at Campbell and Grant.
The last corporate craziness I witnessed recently was at the airport security line, with shoe advertisements in the bins you put your shoes and laptops in for the conveyer belt.
At a coffee place, most people have their heads buried in books or lapstops. Occasionally, they look at their cups or put on the cozy to think about yesteryear. Coffee Exchange is a corporation. Maiden Form is a corporation. Let the corporate images slip in; drink up and then go home. You're left with three choices: Go back and get more coffee to get more Wonder Woman bracelets; get it on when you get home; or go through your underwear drawer and head to the mall. It's our American way of life.
Charles Harbutt, Departures and Arrivals continues through Sunday, Jan. 26. Visitors may examine unframed photographs chosen around… More