I've spent a lot of time at my local Dunkin Donuts over the past few months. It's open early and closes late, it's cheaper than other coffee shops in the neighbourhood, and you don't have to stand around someone's table and talk loudly about how some people just won't clear out even when they've paid the bill to get a seat.
Even though I spent a lot of time at Dunkin in the past, I'd kind of forgotten how nice it can be to just sit there. A few months ago I was between appointments on Shahrah-e-Faisal, and so I ended up working out of the Dunkin there. Then I ended up at the branch in my neighborhood one evening and now I sometimes write there. Mostly I sit back, think about eating doughnuts, occasionally eat a stale doughnut and regret it, and people watch. I have learned many things during my unoffficial residency and by using an entirely unscientific approach.
- People still buy doughnuts. I'd sort of assumed that in this day and age of customised cupcakes, red velvet-everything and fro-yo (a trend that is finally over, AMEN) that people didn't buy doughnuts anymore.
- I was wrong.
- People buy a lot of doughnuts. Like a lot. After 10 pm, Dunkin is almost like an emergency room: wailing kids, guys who look like they ran out of the house in their PJs and drove at a 100mph, entire families. They all want doughnuts. They get mad when there are no doughnuts. No seriously, they're legitimately indignant when the manager informs them that the branch has run out of their favourite flavour. There are some people who ask if the other branch will still have them. There is an acute sense of desperation in their voices.
- I might have a career as a doughnut scalper if nothing else works out.
- (Why do people need doughnuts so desperately?)
- Sickly icing sells.
- At 11 pm, pretty much everything sells. People drop their demands and standards. 'Just put six of whatever's left in the box.'
- (Maybe they're all having surprise birthday parties?)
- Lots of people send their kids in unaccompanied to buy doughnuts. In Sugar They Trust.
- Some kids are literally bouncing off the walls before they've even had a doughnt. These kids may not need a truckful of munchkins.
- Lots of people send their domestic staff in to buy doughnuts. Or they send over someone who then dials home and connects the person who is craving doughnuts (but can't leave the house) to the salesperson. These are the people who should memorise the Dunkin Donuts delivery # by heart. And also add on a doughnut for the person they've sent out to forage for food.