The Internet is full of evil lying people. Not everywhere, of course. Just on those sites who raise your hopes, then dash them down, removing any hope of happiness for the rest of your life. That’s right. Dunkin’ Donuts, I’m talking to you.

It really started at the supermarket. I’ve mentioned before Gelson’s policy of featuring an item, making me fall in love with it, then immediately discontinuing it. This time it was Ridder cheese. It’s a great cheese with a slightly nutty flavor, soft but not quite spreadable. On crackers, with a glass of wine–lovely. I didn’t panic when Gelson’s discontinued it–after all, I’ve been down this road before. Searched all the big stores in LA. At Ralph’s I asked if they carried it. After much consultation, the answer was no. Except there were four packages on the shelf. I’m no fool, I took all four. Life was good.

Until Ralph’s discontinued it two weeks later.

I had pretty much resigned myself to having to fly to Norway or something, then I decided to try the Internet. You’d think the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills would carry it. Nope. But they quickly and politely let me know by email. I did a general search for +cheese +ridder. Sure enough, it turned up on www.cybershop.com. Four pounds for a price far less than first class airfare to Norway. What a deal. I ordered up a big wheel. Which has yet to arrive, two months later. The fact that Cybershop summarily cancelled my order without telling me gave me pause. But I’m an optimist. I believe in the Internet and its ability to supply me with great cheese one of these days.

Which started me thinking about other unobtainable items. Back to search again.

Wondering when Krispy Kreme donuts are coming to your town? Check out www.krispykreme.com and email the nice folks there if you can’t find one near you. Looking for Uggs sheepskin boots without that stupid colored fabric braid they started putting down the back? Hop over to www.uggs.com. It’s a breeze! The world is your oyster (I’m sure they’re available online, I didn’t look)!

Now onto the Tragedy. Dunkin’ Donuts phased out of Los Angeles a few years ago. Disappeared from the airport. My local Mobil station. Even, at last, the store on Pico near Doheny. I didn’t even bother to check on the older store in Torrance. I was just too disheartened. I mostly grew up back east, where (in my memory, at least) they have Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner. In New Jersey they have DRIVE-THRU Dunkin’ Donuts! I’m sure Krispy Kreme donuts are very nice. But they’re not Dunkin’ Donuts. The apples & cinnamon. The plain donuts with the little handle to hold onto while you dunk. Skip the Bavarian Cream and go right for the Vanilla Cream. You’ll be happier.

That’s not the only recent tragedy in my life. Someone shot out a glass door on the north side of my house. Looks like a BB gun, though we couldn’t find a pellet. I assumed I’d pissed off the nuns across the street. The police told me the exact same thing happened to the Kenny Rogers restaurant down the hill. I have no idea how Kenny pissed off the nuns. Or, for that matter, when they became armed. Fortunately, Archie McPhee is currently selling a plastic nun lawn ornament. I’ll put it on that side of the house. It’ll scare off the snipers. Or at least give ’em something to aim at.

So I decided to check out DD’s website. Who knows, there might be a store in Vegas or Phoenix or somewhere I might drive through someday. It’d be good to know. Let’s face it, it might just factor into one’s vacation plans. Kansas isn’t THAT far out of the way, when it comes right down to it. The website, www.dunkindonuts.com, of course. is very nicely designed. The familiar pink-and-orange logo brought a little mistiness to my eyes, but I went on. Just for the hell of it, I decided to search for stores in California. What’s a five- or six-hour drive now and then?
The store in Torrance was listed.

Not only that, but if you request it, the website gives you complete directions right from your house. It was Martin Luther King day. I thought about calling to see if they were open, but that would show a lack of faith in my Dunkin’ friends. Of course they’re open on holidays. They’re always there for you. That’s the kind of folks they are. Torrance is only about 25 minutes from my house. Suddenly life looked much brighter.

I didn’t find the store right away because there are a bunch of shopping centers in the same area and I wasn’t sure which one it was. No problemo, a noble quest can’t be expected to be easy. Before I turned around, I zipped through Jack in the Box for a Super Quencher Diet Coke (just the thing for a powdered-sugar binge, no?). The giant drinks fit in the Jaguar despite its lamentable lack of cup holders. You just cram it in exactly right under the dash. This, however does not work if the cup lid breaks. Which mine did. Leaving me careening down the streets of Torrance with a huge soda sloshing around and threatening to land in my lap. Know what? I didn’t care. When I got my lemon donut, life would be just fine. Maybe a blueberry one, too, just to be safe.

The first shopping center didn’t have my Dunkin’ Donuts. There was a “DK Donuts,” whatever the hell that is. I had a lidless soda to get rid off, so I wandered by on the way to the trashcan. My heart stopped. The display rack looked disturbingly familiar. My Dunkin’ Donuts had become DK Donuts. The dream died once again.

What kind of sadist would promise you raised donuts on a website, knowing full well it was a fool’s errand? Lure you down the freeways of Los Angeles, only to break your heart, on a national civil rights holiday, no less? Evil, heartless, sugar-sated, internet pranksters, that’s who.

Krispy Kreme, it’s time to give you a try. Disillusioned, but ready for a cinnamon donut.

Copyright 1999 by Janine Smith. Not to be reproduced or distributed without permission