A Legal Mugging

NOON -- My drug dealer doesn't know what to think of my new mug.

I bought a Barista Aroma Solo coffee mug from Starbucks this week. It saves trees. It keeps coffee warm. I think it fights crime, too.

I've been refilling my mug at Starbucks all week and I haven't been charged the same price twice -- even though my drink is always the same. Coffee. Black. No pastry. No sprinkles. No umbrellas. That's all, for Pete's sake.

Here's why I haven't complained: Almost every time I get a refill, the price goes down.

I don't know if this is some new business model they're trying out or what. The first time in, I got charged regular price, $1.84, for a Grande Drip (Starbucks parlance for a 16 oz. cup of black coffee).

The next day, I was charged $1.52, which I think is standard price for a 12 oz. coffee.

On the next visit I was charged a slightly higher $1.73. But then I was delighted on the very next day when the price plummeted to $0.54 cents.

For those of you keeping score, that's four visits to the same store, buying the same beverage, with the same crime-fighting mug each time.

I'll run by the drug den this afternoon for another fix. Based on how things have been going since I got the new mug, I fully expect the cashier to pop out the register drawer and start filling a bag with $10s and $20s.

If that happens I'll share the money with regular readers of this blog. I appreciate you both.

— Phil Harvey, Wealth by Consumption Editor, Light Reading

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