Starbucks: stär'buks n. A parasitic organism that reproduces itself at an astounding rate, much like its furry intergalactic counterpart, the tribble.
Once a Starbucks has penetrated a neighborhood, it proceeds to saturate the unsuspecting populace with various beverages containing a highly addictive substance called "caffeine." This causes an unnatural dependence of the public on Starbucks for daily subsistence, and in some the addiction becomes so severe that they must consume caffeine immediately upon waking in the morning or else the victim will be rendered unable to function. The people proceed to supply Starbucks with a steady flow of small green pieces of paper in exchange for their fix.
Starbucks feeds off of these pieces of paper, growing ever larger and producing an assortment of decorative coffee mugs and personal espresso machines within its walls. Eventually, Starbucks begins to multiply, encroaching upon the native coffeehouses and eventually driving them out of existence. It is not uncommon to see two or more Starbucks on one street corner, and many large cities have more Starbucks than they do public schools. Scientists are still uncertain as to how Starbucks is able to reproduce itself on such a grand scale, but they suspect it involves spores.
Starbucks can easily be identified by the presence of a bright green neon sign featuring a truncated mermaid. This sign is always present, and is usually found on the exterior walls.
While there is no way to prevent a Starbucks infestation at present, there are several warning signs that Starbucks is on its way:
- Proliferation of small, empty white cups marked with green seals accumulating on city streets
- Roving gangs of yuppies suffering from what appears to be attention deficit disorder (a symptom of caffeine addiction)
- Presence of one or more of the following in a two-block vicinity: Gap, Banana Republic, Blockbuster Video, a shopping mall, a college or university, an office tower, a dot-com company, or a Barnes and Noble. In the case of the latter, Starbucks infestation is imminent (if not already present).
- Entry of words such as Frappucino in to the common parlance
- Marked increase in number of anti-WTO protests
- Sudden and inexplicable popularity of black, white, and/or green clothing