Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
"No, you don't."
This was the reaction when I asked Marie, one of the world's most delightfully tolerant baristas, for a Unicorn Frappuccino.
We've known each other a long time. She couldn't believe that I, too, had succumbed to the marketing phenomenon of our times -- well, of our days, of our hours or of our Twitter feeds.
I explained that this was merely research. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I wanted my mouth to know what all the fuss was about.
This drink is supposed to change color and taste.
It's also upset quite a few Starbucks baristas, who claim it's either too difficult to make or that it's just too disgusting to look at, never mind taste.
I was prepared, therefore, for a long wait. Which is fine at my Starbucks -- Marin City, California, thank you for asking -- as most of the staff are startlingly human and often have good stories.
My little plastic cup -- Marie would only permit me to order a small Unicorn, as she shook her head again and again -- was passed along to Sammie.
Sammie travels a long way to get to work. She gets up at a time of day you might call the middle of the night.
I feared, therefore, that I might have ruined her morning.
So I asked her where the unicorn color came from.
"My hair," she replied.
And, indeed, her blonde hair has purple-pink streaks in its lower regions. Surely she wouldn't be squeezing on her locks and spraying the result into my cup.
I then dared to ask her whether the Unicorn was difficult to make. She looked at me with a face that said: "Are you nuts? Oh, wait, it's you. I know you're nuts."
I observed carefully.
First she squeezed some blue gloop into the bottom of the cup. Then she poured a lot of purplish gloop on top of the blue gloop. Then, oh, look at that whipped cream. That's a lot of whipped cream. That's more whipped cream that I've seen in movies of ill-repute.
Finally, she sprinkled two lots of, well, sprinkles from two large cruets all over the whipped cream.
The whole process must have taken her 18 seconds. And the Unicorn itself did look like the pictures emitted by Starbucks.
What, I hear you cry, of the taste?
I expected unbearable sweetness. After all, the 16 oz. size enjoys more than 50 grams of sugar. That's around 12 teaspoons.
Indeed, Marie was concerned I'd suffer a serious sugar high -- and then sugar basement. She didn't want to see that.
So I stirred it a little bit and it ended up tasting like a curious mixture of unidentifiable fairground food and Acid Drops -- a sour candy I used to eat as a child.
Katy Perry, on the other hand, whom I didn't see in the line at my Starbucks, insists it's like "drinking my own blood."
Did I finish it? Are you mad? Oh, it's you. You know I'm mad, but not that mad.
Lord, no. Two sips of this thing is quite enough. Unlike many wines that I know.
I hear on the Starbucks bloodvine that the Unicorn has been enormously successful. It's certainly enjoyed enormous publicity and has helped people forget about Starbucks' 99 other problems.
But once you've done the Unicorn, what do you do next?
A Katy Peary Frappuccino - full of joyous pear and Katy Perry blood extract -- perhaps?