According to THIS WEEK magazine (February 22, 2008), “Catholic authorities in Croatia have opened a coffee shop that lets customers pay for drinks with prayers.” The Zagreb café is called Jedro, and its prices range from four Our Fathers for a cappuccino to five Hail Mary’s for a Coke.
Now this is a religion that works. Everybody likes coffee, but fewer and fewer of us can afford the cash prices. So if we can pray instead of pay, who would drink anywhere else?
You gotta hand to those Catholics!
Now I know a good thing when I see one, and I want to bring this idea to America where I plan to expand it beyond thirsty Catholics to include all the world’s religions. So here is my plan. If you like it and want to go in on it with me, just send money. We’ll work out the details later.
Anyway, here is the plan. We will call the franchise Café-au-Pray, and I have already figured out a way to improve the process. Time is money, right?. And it takes time to say those Our Fathers and Hail Marys. By my own reckoning, it takes me ten seconds to say one complete Hail Mary. That means it would take fifty seconds for me to pray for a Coke. Not too long, but every second counts. If I could quicken the process without cutting the price, I could move people through the line even faster. How to do this? Enter the Tibetan Buddhists.
Tibetan Buddhists use a prayer wheel to pray rather than actually saying the words. You just spin the wheel and as the words go round you get credit for having recited the prayer. Cool, right? Yeah, it is.
So this is how it will work: You walk into your local Café-au-Pray and choose your preferred Prayer Wheel from the Wheels of Fortune display. Every major religion would be represented, as well as wheels with prayers from smaller religions if the demographic of the neighborhood warrants it. You choose your wheel, place your order, spin the prayer, and pick up your drink, returning the wheel to its place on the rack for the next person on your way out of the store. What could be easier?
You can actually spin a prayer wheel with the Hail Mary printed on it in two seconds, which means that you could pray for your Coke in ten seconds, a timesaving of 80%. That means we can handle far more customers in far less time than our wheel-less competition in Croatia. Of course people aren’t actually paying in cash dollars so more of nothing is still nothing, but if you send me enough start-up money I’ll see if I can find a way around that.