Dunk Spunk

December 6, 2004
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They're ba-a-ck … and with a vengeance, because they are true blue conservatives from the red district of Michigan, the backslappin' palm and backbone of the mitten. They are the original "Daily Show," a full cast of JonStewarts. Yeah, we're talking Dunkers, Coffee Dunkers of America, Grand Rapids Chapter. The annual meeting begins at GrandValleyStateUniversity's downtown EberhardCenter, Monday, Dec. 13, promptly at 7:28 or 7:29 a.m. (they will decide at 7:30). Ticket prices have not inflated this year, it will cost $4.97 per person, but a special deal is offered: two people can attend for the price of three (or pay $11.54 each in advance).

How did these shenanigans become an annual event drawing hundreds of fools to be lampooned (or watch it happen)? The Dunkers want you to know (though none of the originals are alive to verify). It's the group's 65th anniversary, though they met illegally for 291 years before others caught on to what they were doing. The exact number, however, does not include the years in which hurricanes cancelled the annual meeting. Hurricanes, you ask? It's attributed to the Zeeland Complex, which also backs up the Grand River (and you thought it was sewage), causing it to reverse direction (which proves Grand Haven has been dumping sewage in the Grand River and sending it to GR). It's a land-to-water phenomenon.

The Business Journal staff offers inside information in Street Talk (as usual), preparing readers for the big meeting. It cannot be verified, however, because the Dunkers change their collective minds/commentary up to the point that information is delivered.

It is true that 65 years ago the first official minutes note that Gerald R. Ford Sr. met with then Kent County Sheriff Hugh Blacklock, Superintendent of Police Frank J. O'Malley, the Honorable Circuit Court Judge Honest John VanderWal (and maybe five others), to de-stress in a little Greek restaurant that once upon that time was doing business in the Federal Square Building. Once the lampooning began, it drew an audience. When it was finished for the evening the group presented a $75 tip to the long-suffering waitress, who protested that it was far too much. The evening being so near Christmas, she was instructed to name a charity to which it would be given, and O'Malley lobbied for his favorite, YouthCommonwealth. And so it began … YouthCommonwealth has been one of the beneficiaries each year since. This year the Dunkers also will divvy proceeds for the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation, the "Circle Presents" program of Circle Theatre and the Donald Delong Education Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

The Dunkers are determined to include its "Best Of The Dunkers" skits from previous years, save those that caused embarrassment (like the Olympics-bound tri-athlete who would have been given donation until Tom Rademacher wrote a story/expose…). These will include Joel Boyden's Lush Rimbaugh, Rose Ann RoseannaDanna, Emily Latella and (Bill) Wheadon the Wedak/Karnak. Goldie Loeks will make an appearance.

Grand Rapids Police Chief Harry Dolan will sign copies of his new Christmas release, "Traffic Stops for Dummies," a book that elevates the average intelligence level of the Dunkers from fifth to sixth grade level.

New Grand Rapids Fire Chief John Van Solkema will be inducted to Dunker membership (the only dishonor he's received). This will be celebrated with some rendition or another of "Take Me to Your Ladder."

The Dunkers will introduce the local stars of the reality shows "The Apprentice," "Survivor," and "Trading Spouses" and attempt a tribute to "Gilligan's Island" (expect Peter and Joan Secchia to play the millionaire couple).

They also offer the local daily newspaper new slogans, or some thoughts on slogans not used: For When Your Internet Is Down; Keeping You Straight and Narrow-Minded; If It Creeds, It Leads; Free Rubber Bands; Spell Check is for Sissies; Honey, I Shrunk the Newspaper; USA For Dummies; We Killed Flair; or, Nearly Twice the Depth of the Stories TV News Covered Yesterday.

By meeting time, the Dunkers will have completed an exhaustive, secret investigation of Canada and the Bush-dodgers. "We found that the re-election … is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly," said one anonymous Dunker. Canadians have allegedly reported finding Hollywood producers, cold, tired and hungry, huddled in barns along the border, who asked for latte and free-range chicken. The farmers are said to have indicated it is not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists, CalvinCollege political scientists, Unitarians, liberal Lutherans and conservatives from FountainStreetChurch crossing their fields at night.

Dunkers also say they have reliable information that when liberals are caught crossing the border, they are sent to re-education camps at which they are forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR. They say, however, that Vice President Dick Cheney has pledged to help President George W. Bush reach out by creating postage stamps picturing endangered species.

  • Speaking of Bush: Of course Dick and BetsyDeVos will attend inaugural festivities in D.C. next month. Betsy has determined to wear a dress made by her sister-in-law, Pamella Rolandaka Pamella DeVos, whose business success is reported on page 6 in this issue.

Pamella also may find First Lady Laura Bush and daughters dressed in a Pamella Roland original.

We think she's earned rank as one of the first-name-only elite. That would just be Pamella.       

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