Vicki Briganti – CW50 Writer / Producer / Editor

Within the past few months, my go-to places are now has-beens. I’m trying to keep pace with the brisk business closings in my area.

I wanted to take a shower, but my sewer backed up. The lifetime membership to my rarely used gym, Fitness USA, popped into my head as the perfect place to shower until a drain snaking specialist could unblock my sewer. Near my house in Royal Oak, I could swipe my card at the Fitness USA at 12 Mile and Woodward, shower, and move on with my day.

Not so fast, sister. Some smart ideas can’t be easily executed. Guess what I found out? The gym is closed. A sign on the door says “the economic downturn makes it impossible to continue operating. We are forced to make the difficult decision to close and apologize for any inconvenience.” Boy, am I ever sorry…for the inconvenient double discovery of a backed-up sewer and a defunct gym. Talk about having a bad day.

According to the helpful “sorry” message, my lifetime membership will be honored at the Fitness USA in Taylor, Lincoln Park, and Dearborn – also known as Gyms Not Near My House. I better butter up my friend, Shelley, since she’s my “person” – also known as the person who lets me shower at her house when my sewer backs up.

Where Do I Go Now?

I’m sure this has happened to you. You get a sweet coupon in the mail — “buy a medium drink or larger, get a free donut.” This was in a pack of coupons for Dunkin’ Donuts. I was looking forward to my almost-calorie-free breakfast of Boston Krème donut with a medium instant iced tea, even though they claim it’s freshly brewed. What a wonderful start to a Saturday morning. Or afternoon.

I hop in my Jeep and head to my local Dunkin’ Donuts at 12 Mile and Stevenson inside the Marathon gas station. I was there mere weeks before for a similar deal. Was it one week ago? Two? No matter. Guess what I wasn’t getting? A Boston Kreme donut because…drum roll please…it’s no longer a Dunkin’ Donuts. Foiled again.


The closed Dunkin’ Donuts in Madison Heights (credit: Vicki Briganti)

Rather than accept this as a celestial sign I shouldn’t eat a fattening donut, I reset my mental GPS and calculate the next nearest Dunkin’ Donuts is at 9 Mile and Woodward. I go. I bust out my coupon. I was quite relieved they were still in business.

Is This a Conspiracy?

After the stress of driving around and being denied services, I need a massage. I have gift certificates for Stasio Chiropractic Center, a massage school in Warren. I call to make an appointment. Hello? There’s a new landlord? You had to move all your equipment to the Clinton Township office? I have to make my massage appointments at that location until they decide whether or not to reopen in Warren. At least they didn’t go out of business, right?

If you kept track, here’s a quick review of my recent displacements and the distances from my house to the next nearest location, assuming I don’t drive in rush hour traffic:

Fitness USA = 20.1 miles/25 minutes

Stasio Chiropractic = 17.8 miles/33 minutes

Dunkin’ Donuts = 3.23 miles/8 minutes

Hmm…donuts it is.

>> More Motor City Musing With Vicki Briganti


Leave a Reply