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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:06:17AM

Raccoons,

donuts and latte!

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By Robin Jenkins

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I recently had a tense moment at Dunkin’ Donuts. I know this because the clerks behind the counter were practically in tears after a peaceful resolution was reached. Let me explain. I stopped in for a pumpkin decaf latte, which is, as far as I am concerned, the single best reason to celebrate this time of year. Sure, there’s the fun of Halloween costumes and week-long sugar rushes. There’s the reminder to be thankful for family and fortune over buffets and banquets. The air is cool, long-absent friends have returned and businesses are booming. But nothing says autumn like a hot decaf pumpkin latte.

On my third trip to Dunkin’ Donuts in a week, I decided to order a dozen donuts to take to work to assuage my conscience over my guilty little pleasure. I asked for 12 mixed donuts — one of those, a couple of these, a sprinkled one, an iced one, a star, etc. Obviously, my raison d’etre was the latte. Just as my server went to pick up the star-shaped donut to place in my box, the drive-thru clerk swooped in and grabbed it for her customer. “Oh, just make it a cruller instead,” I said, apparently unheard. “Maybe there are more in the back,” a clerk said. “No, that was the last one.” “Are they baking more?” After countless frenzied trips to the rear of the building and back, my server finally tossed a cruller in the box and let me go about my day. With furtive glances over their shoulders, the two clerks heaved huge sighs of relief and whispered to each other, “That was tense!”

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