Charlotte Raby


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Okay, some background on this piece is in order. If you've ever been to Casper, Wyoming, you know that it's a small town, out in the middle of - well, let's just say that there aren't any other towns or cities nearby. One must drive 2 1/2 hours to get to Cheyenne, and 4 hours to get to Denver to see the opera and ballet. And, by ballet, I mean not held in the same arena where they hold the rodeo and mud bogging, and without people eating nachos, hollering, and invading my personal space in order to clap like a freaking seal, and with about as much coordination as one.

Wow, I must still have issues. . .

Anyway, I often write when I'm frustrated, and it usually turns out to be humorous.

A Casper Carol

by Charlotte Raby
December, 2006

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas,
When down by the mall
Our first Starbucks opened,
To general pell-mell

The cups were all stacked
By the brewers with care,
In hopes that customers
Soon would be there.

The counters were manned
With teens, oh so eager!
Dreaming of paychecks,
Be they so meager.

And Chris in his long johns
And I in my Fat Goose down,
Had just driven off
To go shopping in town.

Before we began
At the very first store,
We thought we should visit
The Starbuck’s of lore.

We pulled into the lot,
But what did we see?
Not a single space
For parking was free!

So we parked near the mall,
Hopped out on the snow,
Shoved hands into pockets
And followed the glow.

The sun shone diffuse
Through the clouds, very gray
But thoughts of mocha-lattes
Brightened our day.

When, what through the dimness
A sight to abhor!
But the Starbuck’s line
Queued way out the door!

The people were bunched up,
So thick and so close,
Shivering and stomping,
A vast sea of coats.

More rapid than eagles,
The teens did they brew,
Yet compared to the people,
They made but a few.

"Now, Dakota! Now, Hannah!
Work faster!" The boss called,
And the kids, though they tried,
Were really appalled.

The number of customers -
They did guess it wrong,
That poor little Starbuck’s
Could not satisfy the throng.

For Casper, you see,
Is behind the times
And as long as that lasts,
We’ll have great, big, long lines.

We’re starved for a little opera,
A bit of ballet,
And for a good cup of coffee,
Much would we pay.

The people that day,
Well, some stayed and some left,
Resigned to the fact,
That for now, Casper's bereft.

They ran out of chocolate -
No mocha-lattes for us;
So, we made some at home
…without too much fuss.



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