The Perils of Fame and Undisolved Sugar at Dunkin’ Donuts

After the excitement of reading the Kessler piece last night, I prepared myself for a day of constant recognition and autograph signing.

“Hey!” I imagined imaginary clusters of people yelling at me, “Aren’t you that giant nose from the AJC?! Will you make cupcakes out of MY breasts?”

Instead, I arrived at my bar review class this morning completely ignored; like Peter Parker after shimmying out of those spider skivvies. No one is to know my true identity. That is my curse. That is my fate.

My favorite part of today, though, came at Dunkin’ Donuts. I was standing at the counter, ordering my bagel, when a woman came in and picked up an AJC from the stack on the floor. She stood next to me as the counterperson made my bagel and started flipping through it. She pulled out the Living section and unfolded it, glaring at my image with sustained curiosity. She began reading the article.

“Ahem!” I attempted.

She gave me a dirty look as if to say: “Ummm, excuse me worthless scum, I’m reading an article about someone important.” Or something like that.

And speaking of worthless scum, that was precisely what was at the bottom of the iced coffee that was handed to me today with my bagel. The guy behind the counter was new and clearly ignorant of the ingenious method that the regular Dunkin’ Donuts counter people employ when making iced coffee.

The method goes like this: You take a few spoonfulls of sugar and put it at the bottom of the cup, then you add a small amount of HOT coffee and let it dissolve. You add the cream, then the ice, and then iced coffee from the iced coffee spigot.

This guy got the sugar right, and then it was all downhill. Next he added the cream. WRONG! Cold cream doesn’t melt sugar, buddy. The sugar sunk to the bottom and he added hot coffee, but it was too late. He added the ice and the iced coffee from the iced coffee spigot and handed it to me proudly. Wishing to be kind, I skidded over to a table.

I thought I could tolerate it, but I was wrong. The coffee was bitter and then there was just a huge layer of sugar at the bottom. Every now and then a burst of sugar would explode in my mouth and I would practically gag to resume equilibrium. Something had to be done: this was cruel and unusual.

“Excuse me,” I said, upon my return to the counter. “But I don’t think the sugar dissolved very well–”

“You want more sugar?” he asked kindly.

This was going to be difficult.

“Well you see,” I stammered, “Usually they put the sugar in and add the hot coffee so the sugar dissolves.”

“I added hot coffee,” he said defensively.

“I know, but you did so after adding the cream and by then it was too late.”

He gave me a cold hard stare.

“What you want me to do?” he said.

“It’s ok,” I said sheepishly, flitting away.

“No no,” he said, “I’ll make it again. Tell me what you want.”

So I told him. I told him to add the sugar and then the hot coffee.

“But this is a plastic cup,” he said, “it could melt you know.”

A valid point, sure. But I’d seen them do it a thousand times.

“I think it’ll be ok,” I assured him.

He spooned the sugar into the cup and then added the hot coffee. Suddenly glops of plastic began oozing into his hand and his face lit up with fireworks of pain. “Aaaaah!” he screamed. “My haaaand! My haaaaaaaannnnnd…”

Ok, I made that up. The coffee turned out great.

“Nice work!” I said, encouragingly.

The man smiled.

The woman, still reading the article at the counter, rolled her eyes. She pawed at my newsprint nostril and pined for a chance to meet me.

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