Sunday, December 09, 2012

Starbucks: Try our festive Humbug Latté

PARK PLACE MARKET, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON; In a press conference held yesterday evening, Howard Mark Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, admitted to having finally conceded and agreeing to pay the chains huge backlog in UK tax as well as all future contributions but clarified that this decision was provoked - not by angry customer protests or government influence - but by a midnight visit by the ghosts of Starbucks Past, Present and Future.

"As you may or may not know, I hate Christmas", said  Schultz, 59, "and had just that evening sent my overworked and underpaid chief clerical officer home. The whole season in my eyes is just a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December. And for the purposes of this press conference, we'll temporarily forget that I follow Judaism and therefore don't strictly celebrate Christmas, even though I'm not above exploiting those that do."

"The Ghost of Christmas Past had chains. Much like the excellent
chain of Starbuck branches on every high street. With their
affordable and delicious coffee, served with a smile."
"I'd just finished a valuable evening throwing huge piles of money into the air whilst laughing deeply and whooping giddily", Schultz continued, "when I was visited by the first of three spirits, claiming to be the Ghost of Starbucks past. I was shown a bygone age - before 1971 - where there wasn't a Starbucks shop on every corner. An era where the independent coffee shop thrived and - get this - they didn't even ask you your name so they could write it on the side of your cup. It was more an innocent time with nary a Barista in sight - but it was also some kind of living hell. How could they cope with coffee shops being sometimes being more than 50 feet apart?"

"I was then visited by the Ghost of Starbucks Present where I was shown around 1 of my 793 branches of Starbuck in the UK. You know, one of the branches that is springing up all the time despite our companies recent insistence that the business isn't in the slightest bit profitable and we're effectively opening them up out of the goodness of our heart to give UK citizens a job."

A Gingerbread latté. Yesterday.
"And finally, the Ghost of Starbucks yet to come. I was shown around a desolate wasteland of a UK high street - The eight Starbucks branches on the same row of shops were all boarded up or closed, crude graffiti scrawled on the desecrated store fronts condemning our tax avoidance. Even though we already clearly pay Tax - what about those huge sums of money that we take from our staff as PAYE? What's that, if not tax? Pity the poor Barista, shivering in the cold - This is what could happen if I didn't change my ways."

"I awoke next day with joy and love in my heart. Honestly. I leant out of the window and attracted the attention of a boy on the street who I quickly dispatched to buy everybody a gingerbread Latté - available now in a special red cup for the festive season - and called this press conference for today. And thats honestly what happened."

Various cynics have expressed their belief in this dubious tale, and rumours are rife regarding insider speculation that Starbucks were in fact keeping all the tax money past and present with the intention of delivering it in a huge Christmas card to the UK government. Said rumours state that this was the plan all along - and that via these recent damning claims and investigations the surprise about said Christmas present has in fact ruined Christmas. These rumours are, at the moment of going to press, unfounded.

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