Evidence that although Fran and froth begin with the same letters, they are not friends.

I won't say which coffee shop chain it was, although I doubt my critique would chip much off their bajillion-dollar profits, but yesterday I ordered an iced cappuccino, thus entering into one of the most bewildering half-hours of my life.

This picture tells you what I'd expected.

The following picture describes what happened more effectively.

This wasn't a drink. This was a froth nightmare, a challenge, the kind you get on game shows.

There was an inch or so of coffee in the bottom of the tall glass, then the rest, about three feet of it, was thick, white, stiff froth.

I stirred with the straw I'd been given. Surely the coffee would mix with the froth.

The drink laughed. The straw bent.

I stirred again, faster.

The drink guffawed.

I fetched a spoon and began eating the froth, which stayed solid, like raw meringue mix. What do they add to it? Prittstick? The glue they put wounds back together with?

I stirred again, maniacally. This time, hope. Some of the brown coffee began to mix with the white froth. Except that this was only temporary, teasing me. As soon as I stopped stirring, the brown coffee sank back down to the bottom of the glass, defeated, vanquished by its more powerful combatant, Froth with Muscles.

I gave up. It was, frankly, the most unpleasant drink I had ever encountered.

It reminded me of a poem I drafted about froth at a recent writing workshop on 'writing about amusing incidents'. One doesn't often write poems about froth, so it's worth sharing. I wouldn't call this a sophisticated work. But that won't surprise you.


I went into the kitchen, completely unaware
of the impending trouble, waiting for me there.
I needed to do washing up. The sink was piled with dishes.
We'd had a big roast dinner. It had been most dilishes.

I did it in a hurry. I wanted to watch Corrie.
I squirted too much Fairy Liquid, then I was sorry.
I won't say there were bubbles, but imagine if the sea
was made of Fairy Liquid then you'll sympathise with me.

Bubbles floated to the ceiling, they floated to the floor.
They rose up in rebellion and headed for the door.
I had froth in every orifice. I sneezed, and must confess,
I blew a thousand bubbles and added to the mess.

Trapped in a bubble nightmare, and blinded by the froth,
I fought the bubbles bravely with a fully loaded cloth.
At last the froth subsided. The battle had been scary.
But it taught me to be careful, in future, with the Fairy.


  1. How on earth is one supposed to "drink" such a concoction? I would have taken it back to the counter and got something drinkable. Your frothy poem reminds me of old movies where the dad suddenly has to do laundry and upends the packet of detergent only to later find the laundry room cannot be entered because it is full of suds.

    1. It's always so difficult though. How does one say, 'I'm afraid this froth has beaten me'? Glad you enjoyed the poem. Yes, it is a bit Laurel and Hardyesque! Your description of that scene made me laugh! Thanks for your comment, River. You're always so faithful in commenting and I appreciate it muchly. x

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Lucy. Hoped you spotted the word I've stolen from you in the story!

  3. I told him the dishwasher needed special detergent ... but in our Swiss flat with an open plan kitchen the wave of suds came inching to the parquet floor. Panic!!

    1. Arrrggh! It's almost Stephen King!!

  4. I always have the opposite problem with froth - it won't STAY frothy. I'm wondering right along with you about what they put in it. (Hopefully not your nemesis, Fairy Liquid!) Perfect poem to go with :)

    1. I will put you in touch with the coffee shop chain. They do froth like no one else does froth.

  5. Haha! Very funny indeed. I can just imagine it. One of favourite parts was the rhyming word 'delishes'. I think this is much more vivid than the real thing...

    1. I'm very prone to cheating with rhymes. But Shakespeare did it all the time, so, what's good enough for the Bard ...

  6. That drink does not sound either refreshing or much fun. The bubble bath in the sink though....that sounds like a blast.

    1. ... whereas I had another iced latte in a different cafe today and it was absolutely delicious. Refreshing and fun and delicious. I felt like taking it round to the first cafe and pointing at it, saying, 'THIS is how it's done!' But I'm not brave enough.


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