I came up with “America runs on Dunkin’” and have received no credit or financial remuneration for my genius.
This is my story.
People have said many things about America.
Some say that America is the world’s “great melting pot.” Others say that this nation is “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Others still maintain that the United States invented body shaming. Though I wish I could, I cannot affirm with any certainty the truth of these claims. I can, however, look you and your wife square in the eyes and say — without an ounce of falsity — that America runs on Dunkin’.
Millions each day sample one of Dunkin’s 33 hot, cool, or iced beverages from the comfort of their 8,000 brick-and-mortar restaurants nationwide. Millions more fuel up at home or at work with a 1-pound bag of whole beans or grounds or a K-cup bundle of one of Dunkin’s signature premium roasts. It is with these beverages that America finds its energy, drive, and enthusiasm to go out each day and rest on its laurels as the greatest nation in the history of the world. Additionally, a small army of go-getting patriots is overcome by curiosity each morning and splurge on a hastily-assembled Dunkin’ breakfast croissant, only to find themselves confined to their toilets for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. It is with no flippancy that I declare that America indisputably runs on Dunkin’.
It is with the same absence of flippancy that I declare that I was the first to declare it.
It was the morning of July 4th, 2004. I had just arrived at the township’s outdoor sports complex to assistant coach my daughter’s soccer team. I had a bag of balls slung over my left shoulder and a 24 oz. Dunkaccino in my right hand. A whistle bounced rhythmically against my chest.
I met eyes with Tim Gwirm, a fellow soccer dad. We greeted one another and engaged in brief male small talk. I asked about his motorcycle. He told me he liked what I was doing with the yard. I thanked him. He glanced, then, at my hand and said, “Dunkin’, huh?”
It was like a roman candle went off in my brain. I nodded, raised my fist and my voice to the flag, and said, “America runs on Dunkin’.”
Tim Gwirm gasped. His hand fell across his heart. I noticed then that the complex had grown strangely quiet. I turned to my left and saw a gaggle of tearstricken soccer moms huddled en masse. They began to hum the Battle Hymn of the Republic. In the parking lot, a 21-gun salute rang out. The children recited, line by line, the Preamble to our Constitution. Instead of soccer, we played baseball that day.
Unfortunately, America no longer runs on common decency. Not two years after I petitioned the United States Treasury to replace E pluribus unum with America runs on Dunkin’ on all minted currency, I heard a radio advertisement plagiarizing my credo. I was aghast.
I have been embroiled in an oft-contentious legal imbroglio with Dunkin’ Brands Groups, Inc. for the past 11 years. It has cost me my career, my home, and my wife. I even lost a child. Not that she died or anything, but having boycotted the coffee I once relied upon, I was a little foggy there for 7 or 8 years and at some point I just misplaced her.
And do you want to know the worst part? The good people at Baskin-Robbins, who have been nothing but polite to me throughout this entire ordeal, have to be dragged through the mud next to their bullying big brother. One never anticipates the collateral damage.
Yes, it has been hard. It has been the fight of my life. But I don’t quit.
Hear me when I say that this American is not runnin’ away from Dunkin’.