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Looking Back: Domino, Yo.

It’s Deadline Week, and I’m in the process of red-penning a writing project.  Actually, I’m taking a red pen to just about everything in my house, including the cat.  (The cat needed her tail edited down – waaay too fluffy.) While I finish word-murdering everything in my house, I’m revisiting some earlier posts from the SUM archives.  Today, I’m looking back at the power of branding, written back in 2010.

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Do you guys have Splenda or Equal or anything?”

The waitress leaned in to hear Chris asking over the din of the restaurant.  “What?”

We were at a hibachi restaurant with NBF and her husband, celebrating.  The place was dark, the music was pulsing, and the waitress was from another planet, I think.

“Splenda?  Or Equal?  Or something?  Do you guys have any of that?”  He gestured towards his tea.

The waitress nodded her head.  “Yeah, we have Sweet n’ Low and Domino.”

All four of us stopped and turned slowly towards her (Like in that StrongBad email when he’s at the movies and slowly turns towards the popcorn-eating Cheat.  Click the link – it will make more sense.  And it’s SFW.)  Chris shook his head.

“Domino?  What is that?  Is that like a generic Splenda or something?”

“Domino?  It’s sugar.  White sugar?”  The waitress twirled her pen between her fingers as she waited for Chris to decide.

“Oh.  Okay, I’ll have two Sweet n’ Low, please.”

She walked away, and the four of us held a quick conference.

“Did she seriously just call sugar ‘Domino?’ What is Domino?”  I asked, confused.

“I think it’s that brand of sugar.  Domino?”  NBF said, furrowing her brow.

A smile tugged at the corner of Chris’s mouth.  “I would have known what she meant if she had just said ‘sugar.’  Either way, I’m safe.  I asked for Sweet n’ Low.”

I couldn’t stop giggling.  Domino?  I have never, ever heard someone call it that before.  Who calls table sugar by its brand name?  (“Oh this?  This here is Stop & Shop brand table sugar.  Want some?”)  And it wasn’t so much that she called it by its brand name, but more that she said it all tough, like Domino was the street name for some sinister version of sugar.

By the time the waitress came back, we were are laughing too hard to order.  So she just plunked down the two packets Chris had asked for on the table.

Of course, she didn’t bring the pink packets.

She brought the Domino, yo.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. This reminds me of a 20th century poetry class I was taking for my Lit major. The whole class was stumped about how to interpret this poem titled “Domino” by James Merrill. We were trying to make it about falling tiles, about God (Domine Deus, etc), about games… The professor listened to us curiously for a while and then said, “Do none of you know that Domino is a brand of sugar?” We all stared blankly. The whole poem then made sense. Class fail.

    07/30/13; 12:16 pm
  2. Laughing at this as I look at the giant Domino Sugar sign across the harbor from here… Thanks.

    07/30/13; 12:37 pm
  3. Too funny, a brand name for table sugar. Not Domino’s Pizza, or the name of a song, but sugar. Domino. Nice laugh.

    07/30/13; 4:20 pm
  4. Jim #

    I think that was a song by Van Morrison???

    07/30/13; 11:06 pm
  5. e-i #

    Back in the day, before everything came in individual packets, Domino Sugar was made in cubes and served with little tongs. I think this was handy for restaurants because spilling loose sugar in a sugar bowl could make quite a mess. I had forgotten all about them until I saw a craft article showing how to make a castle with Domino Sugar Cubes.
    Thought it would be fun to do with my grandsons but took me a while to find the sugar cubes (they come in Dots which are small squares and Tablets which are larger rectangles). The kids loved it. They made Easter cottages, Halloween haunted houses, Christmas castles, and one inspired igloo. You mix granulated sugar with water to make “cement” that holds the Domino blocks together and you can use food coloring to make colored cement. Use seasonal candies to decorate, cementing them into place. Spearmint leaves can be trees, gummy bears can populate the scene, use your imagination. You can put a votive candle inside your creation and the whole thing kind of glows. The bigger domino blocks are harder to find but easier for little hands. Birdy would love this.

    07/31/13; 2:39 pm
  6. Minnesota Nice #

    Yeah and she probably refers to any type of tissue as Kleenex….

    07/31/13; 8:24 pm

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