ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico Jetlagged and cranky, a half dozen travel writers hunch over coffee at the Albuquerque's Sunport. They're idly ripping on "the Starbucks Experience" cloned fern-bar chic.
"And they're squeezing out the local bean roasters," I add. "Or worse, buying the brand and filling the bags with Bucky's substandard beans.
"I wrote on a piece on it last year for a British magazine. The backlash is growing. You know how the Starbucks website has an outlet locator punch in your zipcode and it reveals the closest store?"
A colleague interjects: "You mean the closest six stores. On the same block."
"Exactly. Well, a Californian artist collective created its antithesis Delocator.net that identifies local cafes nearby."
One writer was strangely silent, studying her rings. Fancy rings. Rings of precious metals and real gemstones.
A finger pointed in accusation. "You've got stock," a young woman hissed.
When the wolf pack corners its own, the results aren't pretty.
Gonna be a long few days...