Tuesday, August 07, 2007


There is a new-ish radio station on Cape Cod called "Frank FM." They have a good playlist, for commercial pop radio, and relatively few ads. I'd found myself listening pretty often, in the car. Until I realized: they have no DJs. It's just this prerecorded growl of a voice that makes generic transitions between tunes, touting the station in a few canned phrases that they rotate through, or randomly generate, or something. However they do it, it's kind of creepy, and now that I've noticed it I don't like the station anymore.

It reminds me of box restaurants. Chili's, Uno, Friday's, Tuesday's, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Applebee's... not that any one of them is particularly bad (though I'd rather have a day-old vending machine sandwich than set foot in a Hooters), but must every flat, numbered state highway business district in America look exactly the same? Cape Cod is truly lovely in so many ways. But if you were driving down Route 132 in Hyannis and suddenly went into a fugue or something, you'd have no immediately obvious way to tell if you were in Cape Cod, Massachusetts or, say, greater Kansas City. Which is sad for both places.

Another Dunkin' Donuts just opened in my little town. That makes FIVE.

How many is enough?


  1. You live in Massachusetts. They will not rest until there is a Dunkin Donuts for every resident of the state.

    I guess it's a teeny little bit better than Starbucks. Not by much, though.

  2. We will all have drive-throughs in our actual driveways. That'll be handy.

  3. that "no DJ" thing is completely bizarre. it always makes me feel like there's been a nuclear holocaust.

    i know, i know. but i read way too much scifi as a kid.

  4. Yeah, that's why it's creepy. It's like what would be left on the airwaves after the apocalypse. Nobody says what day it is, what the weather's like, what's happening outside... complete autopilot. *shudder*

  5. this makes me LAUGH! I am on the North Shore and we have a few Dunkin Donuts here too. I think maybe just 4. And this is not a small town. I love the small independent restaurants but the box restaurants, as you call them, are at least something where "you know what you are getting" when you're on the road and need food. I refuse otherwise to go to them.