You know how women go to Vegas and create fake travel names for themselves? You don’t? Come on man! Las Vegas is a hall-pass for dressing however you want and doing things you wouldn’t normally do.  This usually only applies to women because guys wear the same stuff and do the same things no matter the situation.

For example, a couple is invited to a neighborhood party.  The woman wears her skinny jeans with a fancy yet casual fun top and really cool accessories.  The guy wears jeans and an un-tucked button-up shirt.  The couple is invited to dinner at a restaurant.  The woman wears a hot dress and gets her hair done.  The guy wears jeans and an un-tucked button-up shirt.  The couple is invited to a more formal event.  The woman wears a beautiful long dress and gets a makeover.  The guy wears jeans and an-tucked button-up shirt, while carrying a black sport coat.

As for behavior, at home women are civilized and catch up on life with their friends, but in Vegas they get all crazy and stay up past 10pm and talk to strangers.  At home, men talk to anyone about anything and we stay up until tomorrow.  Same thing in Vegas.

Therefore women create fake names for themselves in order to protect their real identity and reputation whereas us idiot men just go on being idiots.

The point is, I need a fake Starbucks name.  The baristas there are always giving me a new name anyway.  It’s tough to be a Brett when you talk fast, slur your words in general and have a Chicago Midwestern accent.  Most of the baristas know me now because I go in there so often to order my venti sugar-free vanilla nonfat chai.  The problem is they know me by the name they invented for me.  It always went something like this:

“Okay, one venti sugar-free vanilla nonfat chai coming up.  What is your name?”




Then they look at me funny and turn the cup toward their face so I can’t see what they are writing.  Then I wait and my drink gets cold because I’m cheesing out and my name isn’t Brent so I don’t put it together that they wrote my name wrong but it is indeed my drink sitting there on the counter while I space out (I’m not a morning person).

In addition to Brad and Brent, I’ve gotten Brian, Breck, Bren and even Brat.  Yes, my parents on the best day of their lives, my actual day of birth, wrote Brat down on the birth certificate at Chicago Memorial Hospital or whatever the heck it was called – how appropriate I can’t remember the name while Starbucks can’t remember mine.

Once in awhile the barista will think they are being smart by pulling my name off my credit card.  The problem is I go by my middle name.  So when they yell out William or think they are really clever and try Bill, I may as well not even be in the same time zone with my lack of response.

Now that I’ve been in there so often, every barista thinks they know me and they just write down whatever the heck they think my name is and I have to go with it.   So I’m thinking about going with a Starbucks name like Nick or Buck or Jack.  Those are manly man names that can’t be mistaken for Brat.

Names like that make up for my obnoxious order of a venti sugar-free vanilla nonfat chai. I might even grunt when I announce my name.  And then when I do something crazy like order my drink extra hot, my credibility is safe because it’s just Buck being a nutty guy at Starbucks.

Consider this your fair warning for when you move to Central Park (formerly Stapleton).  You will need a Starbucks name.  Make it a good one.


Posted by Brett Grischo – an aspiring writer hoping this endeavor doesn’t kill his dream. About Brett’s work with TJC here. Find more from Brett here.