The Art of the Meal

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Dunkin Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Latte?

Timely Writer e1646366182602

In this age of Orwellian cognitive dissonance, it’s vital to look out for Number One. When the smoke clears from the Amazon wildfires in 30 years, there will be no Amazon, Amazon Prime or Amazonian critters. Boo Hoo. There will, however, be you, and as a 21st-century hunter-gatherer everything is yours for the taking.

Brett Kavanaugh was five years old in 1970 when Schlitz Beer rolled out its tagline “Grab For All the Gusto You Can.” Kid Kavanaugh has been stuck on the “Gusto” part for 50 years as in “Mi gusto beer.” Follow his lead. If he can land on the Supreme Court you can catch some shrimp. Grab it while you can and wave bye-bye to the collateral damage in the rearview mirror. There’s no 2023 crying in me-first unbridled capitalism.

The Sting: Pull up to the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru in the Tesla Model Y you will have out for a road test.

“WelcometoDunkinDounutshomeofspicypumpklattehowmanyshotswouldyoulike?”is what you will hear at the window.

Go right for the disconnect. “Do your plastic cups have numbers inside trapezoids on the bottom so that I can recycle them?”

“Um,” will be the start of a thoughtful reply by the high school kid with the beginnings of a mustache.  “We have pumpkin shots that you can recycle between two and four o’clock when all coffees are $2.00. You can use your own container if you’d like to alleviate the rainforest destruction in Peru caused by growing coffee on terraced orchards. The rainforest used to have nasty two-foot centipedes anyway. I learned that in Eco Club.”

“I’m not looking for a tree-hugger lecture,” you will answer. “I’m looking for a meal.”

“But I thought…We have spiced pumpkin schmuffins and a few onion bagels left over from the morning rush. Toasted? Buttered?  Cream cheese?”

(Horns will begin to sound from the cars behind you).

“That’s it?” you will snarl. “I work all day scanning crap for Amazon and all you guys can offer me are leftovers on the terrace?”

“We don’t have a ter…tables outside…plastic…no trapezoids. Lemme get the manager.”

“CanIhelpyou?” the manager with big hoop earrings will ask.

“Look,” you will answer while wagging a finger. “Your clerk is a jerk and I know you have three bags of frozen Jamaican coconut shrimp in the freezer because I used to be the manager here when this store was a Dairy Queen. I suggest you find them.”

(The horns will now blare in unison and the guy four cars back will yell, “What do ya want, a freakin’ five-course meal? Let’s get going!”)

“Let me get the district supervisor on the phone,” the manager will eventually say.

(Cars will start backing out, peeling away, and their drivers will give you the appropriate hand signals).

“My supervisor says to just get rid of you and to give you my $50 gift certificate for the Puritan they gave us at the last manager’s meeting. They have Jamaican Coconut Shrimp-flavored ice cream as part of a Cruise to the Caribbean promo this month. It’s the best we can do.”

She will hand you the gift certificate, apologize, and promise to write up the kid who originally waited on you. He’ll have to remove his headset and swab toilets for a week. You won’t care.

“I’ll let it go this time,” you will answer, snatching the coupon out of her hand.  “Jamaican Coconut Shrimp ice cream will have to do.”

Your next stop will be Piggly Wiggly where you will insist that you’ve reserved a case of Schlitz Beer.

You will score a case of Heineken and drink it at your first session sitting on the Supreme Court. You will complain to Justice Kavanaugh that it’s not ice cold.


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About this Author

John Angelo

John Angelo’s humor has appeared in “Publisher’s Weekly,” “Writer’s Digest,” and “American Bookseller.” He is a frequent contributor to the “New Hampshire Business Review.” For a Christmas concert at his Catholic grammar school, the nuns told him to mouth the words and that he’d better not make a sound under any circumstances.