Sunday, March 14, 2010

Would you like to see some boobs with your coffee?

I don't know how prevalent they are in the rest of the country, but we have a few drive-through espresso stands here in Bremerton with baristas that brew coffee while wearing only pasties and thongs. It is a fairly hot topic in the Kitsap Sun. The stories and Letters to the Editors never fail to draw a lot of comments. There are several stands of this sort around the area.

A lot of people say it is immoral and that the stands are a blight on our fair city. I don't know about that. I remember some of my past girlfriends that would be nice enough to bring me coffee in the morning, frequently in some state of undress. It never bothered me. Granted, that is a different context than a little drive-through coffee stand/peep show, but who am I to pass judgment on what other people think is acceptable? Personally, I have no desire to get my coffee from any of these stands. I am more concerned about how sanitary it is for a nearly-nude food worker to be preparing coffee or about the safety aspects of unclothed people working with steam and scalding hot beverages than I am about the moral aspects.

Some people have complained about the women working in these stands being in full view of passing motorists and their passengers on the nearby road, which is quite busy. The bus that I take to and from work passes right by a few of these places. The stands are visible from the road, however, I think you would have to be looking pretty hard to get a glimpse of naked flesh while passing by. They are not exactly in-your-face. They have tinted windows that are opened when the customers pull up, but I have yet to see any naked girls. Maybe I need to look harder, but I am just not all that interested.

One commenter on one of the Kitsap Sun articles said that she felt "ambushed" when she drove up to one of the stands with her kids in the car. The stand is named something like "Fantasy Espresso" and there is a sign on the side of the stand showing a silhouette of a woman. I think this poor woman should have been paying a little more attention. Maybe she could have connected the dots and avoided the ambush. Heaven forbid that someone needs to explain to their children that women have breasts and that men like to look at them. I wonder how they deal with questions about erectile dysfunction after their children see commercials on television.

I remember when my first boat pulled into Fort Lauderdale. Some of us had heard about a topless donut shop and we decided we needed to check it out. It was like any other donut shop with news on the television behind the counter and various customers reading newspapers and chatting over their donuts and coffee. The only difference is that the female waitresses were topless. That part of it was kind of surreal. It was a mildly interesting experience, but not that thrilling. The donuts were okay and the coffee was pretty good. I don't know whether or not it is still in business, but I doubt I would go back if it is still open.

In the meantime, I guess these new businesses will be a controversial subject whenever they come up. I guess I am in the camp of "Who Cares?" If you don't like these places, don't go. If you want to spend your hard-earned four dollars and throw a buck or two in the tip jar to get a good cup of coffee and a quick look at a scantily clad woman, that's fine with me. It's not going to hurt the economy. Hopefully none of the outraged citizens will take the matter into their own hands and burn the place to the ground like this coffee shop in Maine that had topless girls serving coffee.