Monday, March 14, 2005

Strange Goings-On at the World Barista Championship

Intense Competition"World Barista Championship." That's what makes for front-(web)-page news in the Seattle Times. Of course it would. It is the Seattle Times, after all. But seriously, a "World Barista Championship"? How about we have a "World Cashier Championship" to see who can ring things up the fastest, with the fewest errors. Or a "World Sandwich Championship" to see who can make the best sandwiches the fastest. Actually I think that one already exists. I could go on naming ridiculous championship contests all day, and believe me I'm tempted to... but I won't.

As if the very fact that there exists something called the "World Barista Championship" isn't disturbing enough, the wonderful editors at the Times decided to throw in the disturbing picture shown at left (click for a larger version). What's so disturbing about it, you ask? Well aside from the obvious stomach-churner of all those people fawning over the Devil's black brew, take a look at that judge on the right. The one who is bending over. This guy's appearance in this photograph brings two questions to my mind. 1 - What coffee-making skill could he possibly be judging from that angle? 2 - What in the heck is coming out of his head?

HEAD ASPLODE?I'll assume that the reason I'm asking that first question has to do with my willful ignorance of all things coffee-related. But such simple lack of knowledge fails to explain away my second concern. Take another look here at right, where I have isolated the head in question. At first I thought maybe I was just seeing some logo on the apron of the java shaman behind him, but that explanation doesn't pan out because whatever it is, it is actually covering the top of his head.

platypus-headed judgeThankfully, this is where the wonder of modern technology comes in. Through the marvel of CUTTING EDGE IMAGE PROCESSING, I was able to ENHANCE the section above his head. After the first run it was still a little unclear, so I ENHANCED it a few more times until finally the truth became clear. Yes, that's right. The espresso-spiritualist in question has a platypus on his head! Who knows what dark purpose there could be for this, but strange as it seems, modern technology can never be wrong.

What a strange ritual this coffee-brewing must be. I believe I will maintain my current level of willful ignorance, so the platypus may maintain its current air of playful innocence in my mind.

Source: Seattle Times
Categories: Local


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