A sign posted outside a Dunkin' store in Maine has gone viral on social media after many compared its garbled message to our state of affairs in 2020.
The sign, which was supposed to simply announce the coffee chain's newly-released fall-flavored drinks to passersby, resonated in a much deeper way with thousands of people on the internet.
"Uh oh! Spicy!" read the sign, in all capital letters across several rows. "Pumpkin! Hahahaha Pumpkin Tasty."
A photo of the sign was originally shared by Facebook user Jesenia Santana, who aptly assessed on Aug. 24 that the Dunkin' location had "some weird energy right now." Santana's post went viral on Facebook, accumulating thousands of likes and comments and being shared more than 9,000 times.
Later in the day, a Twitter user shared the photo, deciding that the Massachusetts-based company was "having a breakdown like the rest of us." His comment clearly resonated, getting retweeted by more than 40,000 people.
Dunkin Donuts is out here having a breakdown like the rest of us pic.twitter.com/3RNUgMQbuZ
— Dwight “Mountain Mama” Davis (@tdwightdavis) August 24, 2020
According to the Boston Globe, the sign was posted by 18-year-old Dunkin' employee Adam Taddia. Taddia's sister, Zahra, also works at the location and said on Twitter that their boss told him he had "free reign with the sign." In another post, she shared a short video of her brother wearing a Dunkin'-branded costume, calling him "the man directly responsible" for the sign.
my boss gave my 18 y.o brother free reign with the sign. wish i was kidding https://t.co/N7Ve6Kj6hH
— zahra (@bogshrew) August 24, 2020
Even the official Dunkin' chain joined in on the fun, asking if their fall flavors could possibly "save 2020."
“This just goes to show that even in summer, when it’s 90 degrees outside, nothing creates excitement like the return of pumpkin," Martin said. "People are thrilled this beloved seasonal flavor is back at Dunkin’ to satisfy those yearnings for much needed moments of comfort and the familiarity of fall."
Despite the positive comments from the company and what Zahra said on Twitter was a "huge influx of business," Taddia had to take the sign down on Aug. 25, just a day after it was posted.
update: they're making him take it down pic.twitter.com/k1PJsHpiSZ
— zahra (@bogshrew) August 25, 2020
"They're making him take it down," she wrote in a short, bittersweet update on Twitter.
Santana, the social media user whose photo first went viral, memorialized the sign with a follow-up tweet that also proved to be very popular.
RIP forest ave Dunkin sign, you were a fleeting treasure ✨✨✨ pic.twitter.com/mXdaDorbPc
— ✨Jesenia 🍎🍊🍑🍒🍐✨ (@notjambalaya) August 25, 2020
"RIP forest ave Dunkin sign," she wrote. "You were a fleeting treasure."