Thank you, Betty Crocker. Thank you for creating the greatest processed dessert of all time. Or should I be thanking someone else? Did God himself make these wonderful, tasteful delights? Because something this perfect could not have been conceived in a laboratory run by a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, much less a Betty Crocker factory. No offense, Betty.
I remember the days my wonderful mother would bring back Dunkaroos after a trip to Sam’s Club. I always got irrationally angry for asking her to help me bring the groceries from our old Ford Windstar (and Dodge Caravan before that) – sorry about that, Mom – until I saw that perfectly weird color mix of sky blue and teal emanating from the bottom of one of the bags. I’d throw everything else out of the bag to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. Then I’d grab the box and hold it in front of my face just to smile at that wacky kangaroo sticking cookies in marvelous frosting.
That goddamn beautiful kangaroo. Sometimes I’d call him Chester for fun. It sounded like a good name for a kangaroo. I’d say, “Hey mate! How are things down under, Chester?” Then I’d rip into the box and eat about four to 55 packs of his vanilla sprinkle-flavored comrades (I called them “roos” for short).
Oh… man! Roos were fantastic. I remember eating them after little league baseball games in the summer. I hated when parents brought healthy snacks. Seriously? You brought us orange slices and some purified water crap when you could buy an economical bulk of Hawaiian Punch and Dunkaroos from Sam’s Club? What’s your problem? We’re in little league here, not a nursing home. Bring me my Dunkaroos and let me stuff my face with them for an awesome sugar buzz.
I went through a Dunkaroo-less period in my life beginning in high school (I still call that time the Dark Ages). Those years were characterized by solid, awfully unhealthy desserts like Oreos, Skittles, Zebra Cakes, and Loyola Academy cafeteria cookies. It was like falling out of love with your soulmate and having decent flings here and there, but nothing to write home about. If I had to use an emoticon to describe my feelings during this period, it’d be this:
Then, one glorious night while still a student at Boston University, a rumor started floating around. They might have Dunkaroos at Shaw’s (Shaw’s Supermarket was an oft-visited spot for Terriers, and is now called Star Market). My mind started racing. Could it be true? Are we all just in some kind of drunk, waking dream? Is someone Bigfooting us right now? I’ve got to find out.
So, we trekked over to Shaw’s. Wish I could tell you what the journey was like, but I was three sheets (possibly nine) to the wind. When we got there, I felt like Indiana Jones searching for for a lost relic. When I found the Dunkaroos in all their glory, on aisle whatever, I held them in my hand for a second and legitimately thought I’d have to outrun a massive, moving boulder. In fact, I did start running. Right to the checkout aisle.
When we got back from Shaw’s, I blacked out. Upon waking up, I found an embarrassing amount of cashed Dunkaroo packages. I was too satisfied to be ashamed.
I haven’t eaten any Dunkaroos since.
Who knows when the next time I will eat Dunkaroos will be? Maybe never. But at least I had that one last night. That’s all that a man in love can ask for.