Four years ago my friend Jeremy and his wife came for a visit to Dallas. We both grew up around Shreveport, Louisiana – you know, the town where the actors in that Oliver Stone movie had a fistfight last weekend.

Shreveport had no Starbucks at the time of Jeremy’s visit. Thus Jeremy had never gone to a Starbucks (unbelievable, no?!). Plus he avoided caffeine at the time. Health nut.

During his visit, we ended up near a Starbucks inside a mall.

I was distracted on the phone with Jenn trying to gauge how much longer we’d be waiting for them to finish shopping when the barista called out, “Strawberry Frappuccino… [long pause]… Strawberry Frappuccino.”

Jeremy walked forward, claimed his, ahem, free drink and enthusiastically said, “Thanks!”

We walked down the mall and I only noticed his unintentional theft after he’d gulped it down halfway. “I thought they were giving away free samples,” he pleaded.

Jeremy and I spoke today on my way to the office. He was in a Nashville drive-thru ordering his daily fix, a venti no-whip triple somethingorother.

Which got me thinking, do we charge for coin counters in our lobbies for non-members? If we do, we shouldn’t.

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