The Random Llama…

Well, they kept my column in the student paper for another week, folks. Journalistic celebrity has its drawbacks, however–I didn’t have any choice in the naming of the thing. (You guessed it: The Random Llama. My hypothesis: someone found this free clip art, and someone else said “okay,” and here we are. He’s kinda cute, though.)
But I can’t complain. Seeing my name in print every Friday has its charms. Here’s this week’s inspiration:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This week’s random suggestion was “pumpkin spice latte”—and what a delicious suggestion it is. I told someone in my office that this was my inspiration for the week, and she immediately said, “oooooh!” with delight (and just the slightest bit of sadness that she wasn’t drinking one right that very second).

There are certain ways I’ve noticed that fall has arrived this year: the usuals like the crisp morning air, the touches of color on campus trees, the scarves and boots up and down Drury Lane, plus the large number of Facebook and Twitter status updates about pumpkin spice lattes. This drink seems to be the hot fall obsession, and I think it has something to do with three little words: limited time only.

While the ingredients are no doubt on hand any time of the year, these spiced sippables are only promoted in the autumn. And I have to wonder if the get-it-while-you-can promotion is part of what makes them so delicious.

There’s another food item out there that seems to come and go faster than the seasons: McRib. This fast food flip-flopper has a “farewell tour” at least every six months. No sooner do McDonald’s diners get used to McRib’s presence on the menu than they’re being told to welcome it back. Where does McRib go when it disappears for weeks, months at a time? Is McRib the sandwich with a past? Is there a Sandwich Protection Program? I’m not the only one pondering these important questions. The folks at @McRibWatch (yes, this is a thing) have a Twitter feed devoted to McRib sightings (in multiple languages).

There’s nothing quite like the allure of the unavailable. So try it for yourselves this week, students. Make someone a limited time offer they can’t refuse. Then send me a suggestion for next week’s column at

(Also, thinking about llamas makes me want to watch The Emperor’s New Groove posthaste. Who’s with me? Oh, riiiiight. The poison. The poison for Kuzco, the poison chosen especially to kill Kuzco, Kuzco’s poison…)


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