Pumpkin Season


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Imagine you’re a die-hard Lynrd Skynrd fan (that may not be hard for some of you). Anyway, you’re at a concert with 40,000 other like-minded fans, patiently awaiting “Freebird” and then, upon hearing the opening notes, the stadium erupts with the kind of joyful enthusiasm once reserved for those actively involved in the tearing down of The Berlin Wall. Have you adequately imagined this feeling? Well, if you have, then you’ll understand how much I anticipate the arrival of pumpkin season at Dunkin’ Donuts. And how happy it makes me to drink it. There is no coffee like Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin coffee. It’s perfect. Normally I take my coffee with cream, no sugar. But this coffee is so magically delicious that it requires none of the usual accoutrements. Normally I am a whore for the cream in my coffee, but cream actually ruins the pumpkin coffee experience for me.

They’re pretty cagey, the folks at Dunkin’ Donuts, because they make the coffee available about two weeks prior to the annual unveiling of The Pumpkin Muffin. The coffee serves as an appetizer of sorts. It whets your whistle and readies your taste buds for the flavor explosion that is The Pumpkin Muffin. The tastiest, moistest, and most delicious muffin ever! As moist as the morning dew.

I could continue to wax poetic about pumpkin products, but it’s difficult to do so while complaining. I try like hell to avoid being annoyed during this, my favorite time of the year. It’s kind of how “Christmas people” can put aside Aunt Lou’s insistence on bringing her Yorkie to Christmas Eve dinner. And feeding “Teacup” from her lap? It’s fine. In fact, “Get him a mug of nog!” This type of behavior just won’t fly at the Labor Day barbecue, but allowances are made, you know, because it’s Christmas. So, as much as I hate to cast a pall over pumpkin season, there are some things that a person just cannot let slide.

I had really been looking forward to my daughter’s first field hockey game of the season. Traditionally, on the way to her games, I stop and get myself a large pumpkin coffee, which makes the whole “watching them lose again” experience far more bearable. Very often the pumpkin coffee is the only part of the evening that I can comfortably stomach. In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably reveal that while I certainly enjoy field hockey, not to mention being one of the only spectators who actually understands the rules, I suspect that the pumpkin products play more of a role in this enjoyment than I care to admit.

Now, no one would ever describe me as gleeful, but that’s how I felt as I waited in line at the local DD. The closer I got to the counter, the more excited I became. Finally, one of the workers asked me what I wanted. I happily ordered a large pumpkin coffee. She looked around in a confused manner and said, “We don’t have it.” I pointed out the seven large signs that would lead me to believe otherwise. She changed her tune to “We don’t have it yet.” Not quite ready to give up, I explain to her that my coworker had brought me one the previous morning (Sadly, it was “iced”. I don’t do iced coffee of any variety). “Did he get it here?”, she asked, “At this location?” She had me there. “Probably not.”, I conceded.

So, disappointed and, truth be told, more than a little agitated, I ordered my usual french vanilla with cream. Ho-hum. Just then The Pumpkin Coffee gods smiled upon me. Another worker, overhearing our exchange, confirmed that they did, indeed, have pumpkin coffee. Success!

She rings me up, I pay, and she hands me the coffee. It’s a medium. I tell her that I ordered a large. She tells me that I paid for a medium. I hand her another dollar. She just stands there staring at me. Staring at me! And she pushes my dollar toward me. Then, she stares past me and says, “Next!” Next? We are not finished here, lady! Realizing that I now have only five minutes until game time, I slide my stupid, useless dollar across the counter and walk out feeling more than a little dejected. I am cheered, however, by the knowledge that a medium pumpkin coffee is better than no pumpkin coffee at all.

I get to the game and say my “hellos” to the other Field Hockey Parents. This being the first time many of us have seen each other since last year, some of them want to engage in chit chat. I have no time for this tomfoolery! I think they sense my distraction. Perhaps they chalk it up to my kid playing a new position this year (it was brought up by several of the thwarted chit-chatters already). It’s not. My inability to banter breezily is because I am focused on getting my first sweet, sweet taste of the nectar that is my first pumpkin coffee of the season. Eventually, the whistle blows. The game has begun. I pop the top, take in the spicy aroma, and take a sip. “What the fuck? That idiot put cream in my pumpkin coffee! Aaaaaargh!”

P.S. They lost the game 3-2.

13 thoughts on “Pumpkin Season

  1. javaj240 says:

    Please take a picture if you do that, LOL. I don’t know what type of workforce your DD employs in TN, but I guarantee you that no DD employee would “get” it here in NJ. You’d probably be arrested for attempted arson or domestic terrorism.

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  2. surroundedbyimbeciles says:

    I never thought I would see Lynyrd Skynyrd compared to pumpkin time at the donut store. I’ve seen Lynyrd Skynyrd play Freebird. That must be some good pumpkin stuff. There’s a Dunkin Donuts down the street. I’m going to go as soon as I can; order my stuff; and wave my flaming lighter in the air.

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  3. javaj240 says:

    I actually love “Freebird”, LOL. Maybe because I haven’t heard it in years. It got a little “old” in the 70s!

    I will have to try the Weight Watchers version of the muffins. Usually I have had my fill once pumpkin season is over at DD. I’m usually on the verge of turning orange at that point.

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  4. peachyteachy says:

    OH my freaking God, it is a good thing that I didn’t have a pumpkin coffee before reading this because I would have had an incontinence event. The first sentence alone—I die. The rest of the paragraph; it is abundantly clear that you and I have both heard God-forsaken “Freebird” far too many times. While we were growing up in our twin lives in the seventies after they separated us at birth.
    Oh, and you have to do the “Weight Watchy” muffins—a box of spice cake mix, a can of pumpkin, and about half the water it calls for on the box –none of the oil or eggs. Add chocolate chips and bake in muffin tins. The elimination of all that fat means that one serving is around seven muffins. I think.

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  5. If you like pumpkin coffee, then you will totally love pumpkin cheesecake. My daughter makes it – Paula Deen’s recipe – and it is almost the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. It literally melts in your mouth. Perfect for a Sunday dinner dessert or to take to a “Stitch and Bitch”night. So good! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pumpkin-cheesecake-recipe/index.html

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    • javaj240 says:

      Sounds like a lot of work, LOL.

      Stitching and Bitching implies crafts. I cannot imagine you doing crafts. Well, maybe chocolate penises.

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  6. javaj240 says:

    I’m glad you noticed. My family thinks I make stuff up.

    Try the coffee. I mean it!

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  7. Okay, how does this crap always happen to YOU?!! I’ve never had one of these so called Pumpkin coffees and never really thought I would love a pumpkin flavored drink but you sold me, I have to try one! I was really excited for you that you finally got your dream only to be dashed by these degenerates! Watch out Wisconsin Dunkin’ Donuts…I’m coming to get a Pumpkin coffee and you better get it right!!!

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  8. why am I here in a handbasket? says:

    I greedily ate an entire dozen of pumpkin spice cookies yesterday and today I’m stopping at dunkin donuts for my pumpkin coffee. I’m going to target today for pumpkin candles. This is my favorite time of the year!

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  9. olivesmeltz says:

    3-2. That’s pretty close!

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