First They Came For Our $4 Medium Coffees, And We Said Nothing…


It’s all about the little things in life… except, of course, when it comes to ordering coffee, particularly on a Sunday. Then, size matters. A lot. Glenn Scott leads the charge against the people who are ruining our lives… and occasionally our weekends.

So, you’d think after all these years of visiting my parents here in the deeply middle-class Brisbane suburb of Springwood I would long ago have settled on a reliable outlet for my Sunday morning coffee.

You might think that but you would be wrong. I’m sorry to say the struggle continues.

I refuse to go to Merlo Coffee because they are pulling the old “let’s call our small-medium, our medium-large and our large extra-large (who’ll know?)” bullshit.

Forcing me to call what both I and the coffee purveyor KNOW is a standard small, 8 oz coffee, a “medium” just so they can charge me a medium price is a form of doublespeak and goes to the very heart of who we want to be as a people.

I have Maccas as backup and I can’t do the 7/11 thing no matter how desperate the situation. (I have my dignity to consider after all… don’t laugh…).

Anyway, there’s a relatively new butcher/deli/eatery in the local shopping centre that I think will be open. I’m correct. Let’s try these guys. They use Campos which is not my favourite but it will suffice. Medium is $5.50. I order.

Medium flat white to go.

That will be $6.05.

Sorry? What’s the extra 55 cents for?

That’s our “takeaway surcharge”. (She says this with a straight face).

Your what?

Our takeaway surcharge.

That’s not a thing.

Yes it is.

Since when? What is a takeaway surcharge? I’ve never heard of that before. What extra imposition is being covered by a takeaway surcharge? How is giving me a takeaway coffee costing you more in time/energy/effort or resources than having it here? What the hell are you even talking about? Is this what we’re doing now? Just making shit up and forcing our customers to pay for any fantasy cost we pull out our ass?! What the fuck is even going on? I don’t know how much more of this financial violence I can take from you fuckers before I go all Michael Douglas on your asses.

That’s what went through my head.

What I actually said was;

“Um, yeah, ok, whatever…” as I hovered my phone.

So, anyway, I got my coffee. And I’m accepting that the reaming is just “the Australian way” now.

Happy Sunday, shoppers. It’s getting rough out there….

Former owner of Melbourne’s Wick Studios Facility, Glenn has turned his hand to everything from music producer and venue operator to educator, wholesaler and commercial farm manager. Currently Glenn splits his time between home schooling his 14 yr old son, walking his dog Stella and his new side hustle as guest indignant rant writer for NM.