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Drive Thru

I hear there are plans for a drive-through at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Lord’s Square. Of course such a plan would have to be approved by various committees, subcommittees, departments, officials, Town Meetings, state regulatory agencies, the Church of England, and God.

Please, God: Vote yes.

In the matter of whether Dunkin’ should be allowed build a drive-through, my own personal preference is no secret. On the one hand, on a bright, beautiful Ipswich winter’s morning, I can stay seated in my car, casually lower my window, calmly speak to a disembodied voice, and confidently place my order from the comfort of my well-heated vehicle, with Steely Dan in the CD player. On the other hand, I can wangle a parking space, wobble across the ice to the doorway, and stand in line for some number of minutes with people who apparently didn’t realize before they left the house that other human beings would be subjected to what they look like so early in the morning.

I think it’s crucial for the Dunkin’ drive-through to gain approval, if only because of the precedent it will set. After Dunkin’, there will be no end to the proliferation of drive-throughs in Ipswich, and life in our grand little town will be even more grand. For example:

  • We could have a drive-through at Town Hall. You pull up to the Treasurer’s Office, take your auto registration from your glove compartment, flash it at Ann Wright, she takes your $20, hands you your beach sticker, and you’re on your way.
  • Upstairs, I recommend a Monday evening drive-through for Selectmen’s meetings: You pull up, pitch your citizen’s query, get your answer, and hit the gas. No need to park, walk up two flights of steps, and fight for a seat among all those concerned citizens.
  • I suggest a drive-through at Rite-Aid for flu shots. Roll down your window, roll up your sleeve, wham!
  • The ClamBox needs a drive-through, but based on the length of the line out front in summer, their drive-through should probably be a tunnel. Otherwise, High Street will be log-jammed halfway to Rowley.
  • At my church, I’ll be recommending a drive-through Eucharist. You get the liturgy on your car radio while you’re waiting in line, and the priest’s benediction recedes pleasantly into the background as you pull away.
  • And finally, regarding Town Meeting. It’s not feasible to have a drive-through, but we could set up a good old-fashioned drive-in. Pull your car into a space on the parking lot, dial up the audio, and there on the big screen appears a 40-foot-tall version of Town Moderator Tom Murphy. How to vote from your car? Simple. Honk if you love the amendment.
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