I was bummed to miss Coffee-aoke with Vanilla Ice yesterday. As part of a springtime promotion, Dunkin' Donuts sponsored a creative karaoke competition in Copley Square inviting people to rewrite and perform “Ice, Ice, Baby” with Dunkin’ Donuts-themed lyrics.
I got as far as “If you got some Munchkins, yo I’ll eat some” and packed it in.
As part of the same promotion, Dunkin' is giving away free iced coffee all day today. For many, the first iced coffee of the season is one of the first rites of spring. Since I keep iced coffee in the rotation year round, my free cup this morning was purely ceremonial. Not to mention, it's 25 degrees outside right now.
Anyway, I enjoyed my freebie this morning only to have my caffeine buzz vaporized by some bloviating poseur at Target. I was there buying a baby gift and a new laundry basket before settling into work. The check out lines are right next to the resident Starbucks. As I was being rung up, I saw two Target employees standing together outside the cafe. The woman was sipping a Dunkin' iced coffee (freebie). The man, at least six inches shorter than she, was getting all shrill.
“I don’t know how you can drink that swill! It's motor oil! It's motor oil! I guess I’m just a Starbucks snob.”
Don't you just hate this guy.
I wanted to trap homeboy under my new laundry basket and put a heavy rock on top of it.
First, it’s an unwritten law of nature: You cannot refer to yourself as a snob any more than you can assign yourself a nickname. Doing so is the calling card of the phony baloney. You're showing the world that you're desperate to play a role that does not come naturally.
The pointy finger started itching. I felt compelled to stand up for my embattled Dunkin' drinker, whose only response -- "you don't know nothin'" -- seemed unsatisfactory.
“Tiny Little Man,” I wanted to shout. “You probably drink freeze-dried Folger’s crystals with CoffeeMate when nobody’s looking.”
Of course, I wimped out and drowned my regrets in a second iced coffee (freebie) on the way home.
I’ve been on the Dunkin' since I was 12 and I still love it. Hot: Black w/ raw sugar. Iced: Skim milk w/Splenda. Don’t get me wrong. I love Starbucks too. In fact, I’m in favor of all things caffeinated: Iced coffee, lattes, espresso, cappuccino. Sometimes I even “celebrate the moments” with General Foods International Coffee.
For me, coffee is pretty egalitarian. There are some people who love their Dunkin' Donuts "Regulars" with tons of cream and sugar, and there are others who prefer the heavily-roasted flavor of a Starbucks "Cafe Americano."
But there are some one-dimensional types out there -- like homeboy at Target -- who use coffee to enhance their image because they lack substance. They believe bashing the more pedestrian Dunkin' Donuts somehow ups their cool quotient. It’s an offensive charade, especially to those of us who revere coffee for its intended purpose -- as the recreational drug of choice for sleep-deprived addicts.
I know ordering a “large regular” is not nearly as exotic as ordering “a venti-half-caf-no foam-one shot-skinny-soy macchiato” but a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee has never given me an inferiority complex. I love my Dunkies Iced. It’s unpretentious; it doesn’t try too hard to be something it’s not. We Dunkies drinkers are cool enough our own. We don’t have to front with coffee.
I think I’ll head out for a third!