There are many perks to being a food writer and blogger - the fun events, the free food, judging culinary competitions, the free food, getting the word out on great new places, the free food, or reminding people of spots that have been around for quite some time but maybe they forgot about that are totally awesome and the free food.
Now, occasionally I'll open up my email to discover a random invite to something. I once got a sneak peak invitation to witness the first American unveiling of something called Scaleio, which is a "brine wine" or fish wine if you come from the native province from which it hails from, Uguntu, a small uncharted island in Lake Victoria between Rwanda and Kenya. Not only was it hideous but I couldn't feel my feet for almost a week after drinking it. And by 'it' I mean a case.
There was also the dim sum featuring toucan, a candy shop on the south side of Tucson that claims to harbor the "hottest steer flan in all of USA" and the infamous "piatto di tristezza", or sadness plate, from the now defunct Capezzoli Caldi restaurant in the foothills area where you sat in a corner and ate pasta while watching Italian farmers flog sheep on an old black and white TV.
It's not the most glamorous job in the world, but I love it and I love the free stuff even more. It's...what I do.
So when an invite from Dunkin' Donuts arrived in my inbox to be part of a social media "influencer" event I immediately jumped at the chance. Who doesn't love Dunkin'? I mean, America runs on it right?
So I put on some shoes, and then pants, and then realized that was wrong so I had to start all over and headed out to see what the big DD had in store for me.
Pour some sugar on me Dunkin'!
When I arrived at the event location on Speedway the place was abuzz, ABUZZ!, with Instagramers, bloggers, "foodies" and those that enjoy quality time with a quality donut. And then write about it and put it on the internet. But not in a creepy way.
The Dunk was decked out like an Easter jamboree, that is if the Easter Bunny was on a mad sugar rush, which, I found out later, is the street code for 'buying meth from an angry Canadian'. Donuts of all shapes (no wait, scratch that, they were all round) and colors were laid out for us to eat and photograph. I myself photographed first because when people take pics of half eaten food and then upload it for all to see with the tagline: 'Couldnt wait, had to eat LOL' I get a little nauseous.
Not only were there representatives of ye olde Dunkin' D but a lot of franchisers as well. They were watching the way the long time employees handled a crowd such as ourselves: people that started food blogs in hopes that the occasional gratis biscuit will be thrown our ways and, eventually, down our gullets.
"Freeloaders" some might call us but, hear me out. We work hard. I spend almost 10 minutes a day uploading content through use of my phone, usually, in a seated position in a restroom somewhere, and I expect not only results, but respect.
I take pictures of tacos and, yes, donuts, I put them on my social media pages with hashtags such as #donutsmakemegonuts or #idontwannatacoaboutit or better yet #faceham. And when I do, I earn the respect of the near 500 followers I have on Instagram.
You're welcome Tucson.
Oh, and the employees did mighty well by the way. Despite their non-blogging handicap. They are so brave!
|All these donuts made me go nuts!|
This excursion into the nether region of the DuDo universe (and I'm going to copyright that so if you're watching Dunkin' Donuts, I am watching you) was all inclusive. We got to make mochas. And lattes. And pull shots of decaf espresso.
Decaf espresso? That's like doing a non alcoholic shot of Jagermeister. Do you drink it just for the flavor? Do you also not eat the snacks provided after a funeral because you feel "sad"? Freak!
True story: I couldn't make a coffee drink because I stabbed myself. No really. The little pocket knife on my keychain was open and when I reached into get my cars keys (thats a lie, I was shoving in a jelly filled to eat later) I got cut. So I spent most of the afternoon explaining myself.
"My car keys are very sharp. No that is not a donut in my pocket. What's that over there? Is that MTVs Dan Cortese making a latte and also he is on fire?"
But I was having fun!
I got to meet a lot of local "influencers" and bloggers, most of whom have domain names such as MaryLikesToEatALittleLamb.com or DiningWithADiva.org or TequilaShameBecky.edu. When I told them about my blog and that I am the food writer for the Tucson Weekly, they would all nod and ask: "Doesn't the Weekly have a lot of stripper ads in the back?"
My answer was always a proud, "Yes. Yes it does."
So I spent the hour posting on all of my social medias to which one person commented "Way to go Whittaker! Now ask them for an application and get a real job you scum!"
My mother has always been a team player.
Then I met a giant cup of coffee and a chocolate sprinkle with legs but no arms and knew that it was time for me to depart. The sugar was getting to my head. Also the blood I was losing from that cut earlier had made me dizzy to the point where I asked a nice barrista "Please help". Only without speaking, just my lips uttering that plea. I had lost the use of my voice.
Well played DunDon!*
(*copyrighted 2109, Metal Mark Whittaker)
|Some coffee a mug and a personalized espresso cup, bucket list: fulfilled|
Well kids there you have it. A brief look into the life of a food writer and blogger based out of Tucson that watches breakdancing movies with my good pal vodka late at night then cries himself to sleep because that last dance off was "so unbelievably fresh, so undeniably def."
To the crew at Dunkin' Donuts and the marketing firm that sent the invite...a sincere thank you. This blog is not to be taken seriously. At all. But I did have a great time and really appreciate the gifts, gift card and awesome spring themed treats. You guys rule!
Now if you'll excuse me I have a new assignment. A new food truck just started up today and I'm off to try it out. Because why? The owner, Benjamin, invited me. Through an email.
It's a breakfast themed cart specializing in egg dishes. He calls it Ben's Overeasy and I have a feeling its going to be...huge.
Thank you dear readers. And god bless America.
Ferrera. I love her in "Superstore".
|I'm Metal Mark and I approve this hallucination!|
Camera, Typing and Straight Dunkin' It
"Metal" Mark Whittaker
A Fine Afternoon in April, 2019