We know America runs on Dunkin. But is Dunkin running out of paper goods?

That was the only possible explanation, or so I thought, when I noticed one morning I had an iced coffee and two wake-up wraps – with nary a napkin in sight.

Has anyone else noticed Dunkin skimpin’ on the napkins??

It didn’t start out this way. As recently as the summer, I pulled up to a Dunkin drive-thru and was pleased to be presented with a plethora of napkins. To my delight, they weren’t the boring brown ones; they were genuine, throwback Dunkin Donuts napkins. A sturdy, white base with the purple and orange letters jumping off at you.

These napkins made me Dunk even more than before. We’re talking breakfast and lunch. It made me feel young again; if we can’t get our Dunkin Donut back, at least we have our classic white napkins. What joy it brought me to feel them in my hand as I placed them next to me for the several weeks, knowing I was guarded from grease. Again, I kept going back a lot.

But as time went on…there was a noticeable decline in grease guard generosity. The first instance came when I got the standard Rineman Turkey/Coffee, then did a double-take when my napkin tally was just two. Two’s not bad, but…just one per wrap? Like turkeys, that just doesn’t fly.

Everyone knows at least one napkin is meant for the iced coffee – a shawl to protect your cupholder from beverage-based perspiration. And the second napkin is for when they run out of those plastic gloves when you get gas. So when you break it down, it’s basically no napkins.

Then came the day the perfectly polite attendant at the drive-thru gave me one napkin. One. Almost worse than zero. I was forced to choose how best to utilize this lone scrap.

Then came the shutouts. The zeroes. Nary a napkin. After a couple weeks, I finally spoke up.

“Excuse me,” I said one day at the drive-thru, “but I’m just curious…why aren’t you giving people napkins anymore?”

The attendant was confused. “Oh, we are,” she said. Then she just stared me down.

Holy Coolata. This was personal. People were getting napkins. Just not me.

“Again, I’m curious,” I said. “Why didn’t you give any napkins to me??”

And off a shrug, she replied, “Well…you’ve been coming here twice a day for like a month, and I stopped giving them to you when, you know..."

She gestured just past me, and that's when I noticed the two or three dozen Dunkin napkins that had piled up (and remained in clear view) over several weeks.

I learned two things that day: Dunkin is incredibly conscientious when it comes to the environment. What other business takes the time to inspect the napkin situation of its clientele before needlessly wasting paper? Not only does America run on Dunkin; trees thrive because of Dunkin.

Also, it’s been way longer than I thought, since I had anyone else in my car.

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