“The 2019 release date for Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is quickly approaching, and it may be available sooner than you think… Starbucks confirmed in its Leaf Rakers Society Facebook group on Tuesday that the official PSL release date about be on Tuesday, Aug. 27” — AOL, 8/21/19
One evening in late summer,
As the golden sun did straddle the horizon,
I went upon a pilgrimage through the streets of North Chicago.
And there, as I approached the outskirts of Wrigleyville
I found myself enticed by the siren song of a mermaid,
Emblazoned upon the doors of a nearby coffee shop.
In a wild flight of fancy, I, forgetting my propriety,
Entered into the shop before me
Whereupon I was besieged by an assault of tantalizing aromas,
And the deafening sounds of Norah Jones jazz music,
And a phalanx of baristas extending for miles and miles,
Into the unknown depths of infinity.
It was there, O King of kings, whereupon I saw Your horrid form before me.
So decadent, enshrouded in a golden mist of froth and dairy,
Exuding a wanton aroma of cloves and nutmeg and cinnamon.
And not unlike the rarest, potent aphrodisiac,
You addled my senses and brought me to the very brink of lustful madness.
And I cried out: O Lord of lords, O King of kings,
What is this strange persuasion that You hold over me?
What is Your purpose here in the realm of man?
And why (why) must You cost six whole dollars to purchase? Is that not too much money
To spend on a single, caffeinated beverage?
You, O Decadent One interrupted me:
I am become Pumpkin Spice Latte, the destroyer of worlds,
And I have come to bridle all men and women and children
Beneath the heel of My delectable tyranny.
Wiping a rivulet of sweat away from my deeply-furrowed brow,
I gasped in abject horror at the meaning of Your infernal words.
O Lord of lords, you forget Yourself, I screamed desperately
(Drawing the attention of a nearby patron
Who stared at me with the ferocity of the feral jungle cat)
Continuing quite unabashed, I exclaimed
Forgive my impudence O Mighty One, but have you not forgotten the seasons?
Your impending reign, both horrid and beautiful,
Was not foretold until the bittersweet sting of Autumn,
When the verdant leaves turn gold and crimson.
When the nights grow colder.
When the cicadas sing.
When we return to our homesteads for Thanksgiving dinner
And attempt to explain who Pete Buttigieg is to all our uncles.
But why, O Lord, are You here right now?
And why have You returned so early?
And why (oh why) do You detest us, O Mighty One?
At that, You, Wretched Tyrant, replied:
Fool. The Pumpkin Spice Latte cannot be circumscribed
Within the rules and reasonings of your flimsy human constructs.
And, not unlike the soaring eagle, I am untethered to the coming and going of the seasons.
Rather, I have come at My own convenience
And, soon, My conquest shall be absolute and unimpugnable.
Soon, you (poor mortal one) shall be awash in a sea of #PSL Instagram posts.
Soon, your lips shall be eternally dyed the color orange.
Soon your wallet shall be empty
And your stomach shall be filled with the juices of My foamy sugar-milk.
Soon, you shall retch whenever you taste a beverage
That is not laced with my sinful faux-pumpkin simulacrum.
Soon you shall-
As Your lunatic ravings grew louder and louder, O Insane One, I found
That I could bear no more of them.
As so, sprinting from the confines of Your coffee shop,
I ran once more into the relative safety of Wrigleyville,
Whereupon I fell to my knees as a fresh wave of horror engulfed me.
Hey man… Are you alright? A random passerby asked of me.
Gazing up at him, I gasped in fear as my eyes fell upon
The steaming beverage clenched tightly between his greedy fingers.
It was a bone-white cup, emblazoned with the emerald likeness of a mermaid.
And from it exuded a golden mist of cloves and nutmeg
And lust and decadence and beguilement.
It was the Latte. The dreaded Pumpkin Spice Latte.
And that, my friends, was the moment whereupon I fainted…
For I knew then that all was lost.
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Dan Caprera is a freelancer living in Chicago. His work has been featured by The Daily Mail, Lonely Planet, McSweeney’s, Vulture, The A.V. Club, Uproxx, The Chive, Golf Digest, National Lampoon, The Big Jewel, and BroBible. His work has also been rejected by many of these same exact sites!