So this week I am attending a travel show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  However, before I could head up to the land of airbrushed t-shirts and taffy machines, I had to attend my class last night.  (Which meant that I missed a chance to go to Dollywood for free Monday afternoon, which was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I’m OK with that.)  

My class was from 6-10pm.  I had to be ready to go in Pigeon Forge by 10am the next morning which meant that I could either drive up late last night or wake up insanely early the next morning.  Me being a night owl decided to make the trip last night.  After getting home and packing (I’m a night owl AND a procrastinator) I hit the road.  I decided since it was getting close to midnight and I had a 3 hour+ drive ahead of me, that I should stop and get some coffee. 

The closest thing open to our house with a drive-through was Krystal.  I’m not really a fan of Krystal.  In fact I know that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been and I can honestly say that I’ve never tasted one of their ‘signature’ Krystal mini-burger things.  I’m OK with that too. 

In my important midnight search for coffee I decided to venture there again.  I asked for a large coffee from the drive-though attendant who proceeded to inform me:

“Right now we only have decaf.”

Um, what?  I was so confused and taken aback that I told her ‘no thank you’ and drove off. 

Only decaf coffee?  Really?  Are you telling me that at midnight Krystal has a higher number of customers coming to the drive-through looking for a bedtime decaf coffee nightcap than people who need the real thing so they can stay awake for whatever reason?  Don’t they realize that by that time all the Starbucks and trendy coffee shops in the area have closed and therefore they could almost have the market cornered on late night ‘have to get it to stay awake’ coffee runs? 

I called Stephen to tell him of my coffee misfortune and Krystal’s caffeine shortcomings to which he replied: “Why didn’t you go to Dunkin Donuts?”  Alas!  I had forgotten about Dunkin Donuts!  Wonderful open 24/7 Dunkin Donuts.  I turned around, drove toward the bright neon sign and ordered a large coffee (with a shot of espresso) and a chocolate donut. 

Loaded up for my journey I headed towards the interstate and passed by Krystal again.  The drive-through sat lonely and empty (probably due to their lack of regular coffee.)  I felt like I should go back to them like Juila Roberts went back to the snooty shops on Rodeo Drive in Pretty Woman, hold up my Dunkin Donuts cup and say “Big Mistake.  Big.  Huge.  I have to go driving now.” 

However, something tells me it wouldn’t have been as effective as in Pretty Woman.  I’m pretty sure the workers at Krystal don’t work on commission.  Or care. 

So the moral of the story is, if you’re ever looking for coffee, REAL coffee at midnight, don’t bother going to Krystal.  Afterall, America doesn’t run on decaf.

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