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Give Me The Rest Of The Smoothie Instead Of Throwing It Out

Illustration for article titled Give Me The Rest Of The Smoothie Instead Of Throwing It Out
Photo: John Gichigi (Getty)

My very stupidest design feature is that I am always, at all times, hungry. This links neatly to my second-stupidest attribute, which is that I’m a sucker for smoothies, the most flagrantly upcharged non-artisan foodstuffs currently available for purchase.


Sometimes you—or, anyway, I—walk by these sweet-smelling devil caves and the vegetal fumes waft out, luring in unsuspecting prey. Before you/I know it your/my hand is holding some ungodly chocolate-peanut butter-coconut-mango-banana concoction. The constituent ingredients add up to less than a dollar, the retail price is $27.95, and reader: I have bought it and am already like halfway through. Until I’m stout enough to lug a Vitamix and sack of fresh produce around with me on my daily travels, though, this bimonthly temptation will remain. The smoothie tastes good, arrives fast, is calorically rich, keeps me full. My future child will understand when we can’t afford higher-quality oatmeal or higher education.

There is only one glitch in this system. Smoothie makers, who have perhaps determined that it’s safer to overshoot than undershoot, almost always create excess smoothie when making your order. They’ll fill up your cup and the rest will remain in the blender. Watch carefully. Unless you intervene, the purveyor will regularly slosh that excess—sometimes a volume nearly equal to the amount you ordered and paid for—right into the godforsaken sink. My whole soul cringes at the shame of it, the waste. Before this atrocity occurs, I usually ask if its possible to get the excess in a side cup. If you time this request just right, when your smoothie attendant is not busy handling any other orders and at just the right juncture in the small talk, they will nearly always oblige. I can attest that this does not work if you get a smoothie man with a highly punitive vibe, like the one who told me two days ago that he “[could] not do that for you” when there was no other customer in sight. There’s no reasoning with that guy.


But this process doesn’t need to be this way; it’s inefficient unto immoral that it all hinges on a well-timed customer request. What if this excess were proactively offered to the customer as gesture of goodwill, and also perhaps as a way to reduce waste? Surely the customer loyalty would be well worth the cost of any excess cups lost? Maybe you should just give me the extra smoothie on principle instead of sending it into the sewer? Can you envision such a world?

That, at last, would be an America that deserves Man God’s blessing.

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