Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.


True Story

In our town of less than 50,000, we have no fewer than (wait, let me think…that first one…Fred Meyers…Safeway…that one by the bridge…the new one…is that all?) aha! Apparently, five Starbucks. It’s a rather astounding number for a town founded squarely on the shoulders of lumberjacks, but—after all—we are less than two hours away from the original Starbucks (I’ve been there, and it’s a beautiful thing). Although we can’t afford to frequent Starbucks too often, Mama made the time to meet a friend there one time last week after dinner.
She barely made it out alive.
It all started when, after consuming a cup full of frothy liquid, she had to visit the restroom. All was well until she flushed the toilet. Her first inkling that all was not well was when the toilet pipe alarmingly wrenched to the right and began spewing a waterfall of (clean) water at her. A girl’s gotta have priorities at a time like this, of course, so she rescued her new purse and then attempted to rectify the problem. Water shutoff valve? Negative. New plan—get help! Unfortunately, the “help” behind the counter was in the form of ineffective teenage girls who stared at Mama with even more cluelessness than she felt.
With no one able to find a water shutoff valve, and with water now beginning to pour out of the flooded bathroom and into the Starbucks (did I mention that this was our NEW Starbucks?), someone suggested calling the fire department as a last resort.
“Yeah,” put in a customer, “I’m a 911 dispatcher, and we should definitely call for something like this.”
“Ok,” said the Starbucks employee, somewhat timidly. “What’s the fire department’s number?”
Yes—be afraid. Be very afraid. I believe it was at this point that Mama considered escaping with her friend and following the tsunami evacuation route to avoid the imminent danger of a massive wave of water, coffee, and blonde baristas. However, being the brave soul she is, she stuck it out. Meanwhile, the water was positively flooding this Starbucks—our nicest, newest, most bee-yu-tiful Starbucks in town!
When the firemen finally arrived—sirens blaring—the men in red themselves searched for a water shutoff valve. Guess what? No valve anywhere to be found in that fancy-schmancy haven for coffee connoisseurs with water inches deep everywhere. To solve the immediate problem of water gushing out of a hole in the wall at an alarming rate, the water was turned off at the street, thereby effectively turning off water for the restaurants and businesses lining our city’s busiest road—a highway, actually.
With darkness enshrouding everything and blond baristas and loyal customers pushing water out with brooms, the firemen found the problem (apparently they double as plumbers), conversed with the just-arrived manager, and were able to turn the water back on. Mama, still soaking wet, filled the manager in on the details and gave her contact information.
And then she headed home to regale her family with the most outrageous tale they had heard for weeks. We’re still waiting for the official Starbucks apology and $50 gift certificate. Hey, patronizing Starbucks might be a dangerous job, but somebody’s got to do it!

Pictures are courtesy of Mama and her cellphone--thus the poor quality. They should be appreciated, because it took me 1-1/2 hours to figure out how to get them off the phone and onto my post for your viewing enjoyment--and proof! Of course. Because no good story is quite so good without proof.


  1. That's hilarious! Please say when you get the $50 gift certificate.

    Oh, and by the way, how *did* you get those pictures off the cellphone? Just wondered.

  2. The phone had a USB port, so I thought it would be simple, but after spending forever locating and installing the driver software, my computer still failed to recognize the phone as a storage device. Emailing them wouldn't work because of our cell plan, and we had no card to fit the irregular memory card slot. When I asked Mom, though, she found the original box, and--whaddya know?--there was a "micro" memory card! Problem solved. ;-)

  3. Unbelievable! I love Starbucks (for an occasional treat), but will remember never to enter their bathrooms. :-) Thank your mother for being the one to go ahead and discover the disfunctional bathrooms as a warning to the rest of us. Just kidding. That is probably a once in a lifetime incident. :-D

  4. Oh dear! I'm glad it was *clean* water, at least. :) Love your descriptive words, Mikaela dear!
    Yes! Do let us know when you get the $50 gift card - and what you buy with it. :)

    Love and blessings,

  5. LOL! I love it :) Although, I'm quite sure your mom had many other ways in mind to end the evening!

    NOTE: Not all baristas are that, um, well, brainless! ;)

  6. I laughed so hard I cried when Mama told me her evening's events, so I was sure you guys would enjoy the tale as well. ;-) Unfortunately, the $50 gift certificate is mere speculation at this point, so I don't anticipate a Starbucks party for ya'll anytime soon. She does deserve one though, don't you think? And they do have her address, so...what's the logical conclusion?
    And Victoria--I'm pretty sure that I remember that you were a barista at one point, so I will hasten to point out that these were blond baristas.'re right--I have had several friends who have worked at Starbucks, and all their problem-solving skills are soundly intact. ;-)
    Charae, just look at it this way: it was bound to happen some time, at some Starbucks, so the quirk is now out of the system and we can all resume our innocent toilet-flushing activities. ;-)

  7. What a great story! It is so bizarre, it is almost unbelievable, but I know it's true...because of the pictures. ; )
    It sounds like your mom kept her composure very well - I probably would have been in tears.
    Thanks for the good dose of fun and humor!

  8. Great story! I love how you can spin a good story out with all the suspense and details. And thanks for all the time spent getting the pictures. :) Aren't cell phones, computers and such just great?! ;)

  9. All I can say is who was the contractor/plumber? How in the world do you forget a shut off valve? And I would like to know how the toilet started gushing out water? Was it a pipe popping off of the sleeve? Oh, well. Funny story though, thanks for providing the humor.

  10. Tyler--
    Since the incident, Starbucks has hired two plumbers--both of whom found nothing wrong with the plumbing! There was a slight leak after the water was turned on, so that was fixed. As far as the major one knows.

  11. Mikayla,
    That was a very funny story!
    My family enjoyed it.....
    At least the water was clean :)
    Where is the new Starbucks?

  12. Abbie,
    It's on O.B. Highway, near Stuffy's and the Dollar Tree. ;-) I think it was already there before you guys left.


We love comments like we love sunshine and chocolate and chubby babies!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin