Thursday, June 07, 2007

And speaking of religion...

Via Sports Guy, I find this fantastic piece on Dunkin Donuts.

People far afield know about us and our affliction. They’re piteous and perplexed. A few years back, when my girlfriend was living in San Francisco (sadly bereft of Dunkies), her friends quizzed her incredulously about the caffeinated cult they’d heard rumors of back East. “What the hell,” a guy asked her, “do they put crack in the coffee?”

Of course, they don’t. (I don’t think.) So what is it? You and I both know what Dunkin’ Donuts means to Boston and New England. It’s a lynchpin of our identity. It’s a religion. It’s a cult. People in these parts freaking love Dunkin’ Donuts. Why? This has become much more than mere caffeine addiction. And it can’t simply be ascribed to its hometown roots. (Do people start MySpace pages paying tribute to Fidelity or Gillette?) What is it that engenders such fervent loyalty? How does a huge multinational corporation maintain such a stranglehold on the affections of a region?
Back when I was attending Mizzou, about once a week a buddy of mine and I would drive to Jefferson City to get a midnight snack at what was bizzarely the only real donut shop within a 35-mile radius, an old-school Dunkin Donuts with a sign from about 1983.

(Think about that. College town of 75,000 doesn't have a freaking Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme? Or even Daylight Donuts? Really? We inquired about starting a DD chain in Columbia, but they weren't expanding in the midwest at the time. A few years later, I found out that a really really good friend of mine had actually inquired the same thing around the same time. It doesn't take a flippin' genius to realize that opening a donut shop near campus would be an absolute goldmine. Almost a decade later, there STILL isn't a Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme in Columbia. Unbelievable.)

Anyway, when we were making this weekly pilgrimage to get some donuts and see if it was Creepy Old Guy or Creepy Old Guy's Mom working that night, my buddy would always get a large coffee with his donuts. Then he would just gush and drool and rave over how amazing the coffee was. Whatever, I thought. I wasn't a coffee fan at that point--I was strictly a Mountain Dew man. But when I started rooming with Good Nonsense-ite Hear No Evil, he got me hooked. And then the Dunkin Donuts in Jeff City--which really hadn't been renovated in decades--closed down.

What I'm saying is a) I was hooked on Dunkin without knowing the glory of DD coffee (kind of like making Dave Matthews Band my favorite band before seeing how good they were 's just not supposed to work that way), and b) I didn't get my first taste of Dunkin Donuts coffee until a couple of years ago, when we stopped at a DD in Oklahoma City.

Man oh's like the old Chris Rock bit about Krispy Kreme:

Krispy Kreme Donuts are so good, if I told you it had crack in it, you would be like, "I knew it was something in there. These donuts are too good. Got me going there at 4 o'clock in the morning going, "Come on, man, open up. Let me have at least one donut. I'll do anything. I'll..."
Yeah, I'll cut it off there. Family establishment and all. You know where he was going with that. Dunkin Donuts coffee really is that good. Every time we come across a Dunkin Donuts, The Butterfly and I buy 6-10 pounds of unground beans and stick them in our freezer. It makes you feel strangely good about yourself in the morning. If I found out they put some sort of opiate, I would not at all be surprised.

Not sure why I'm sharing all of this. Oh well...too late now. Only about 8 hours till I get to drink coffee again.

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