The I Have Munchies stockroom looks like the impulse-buy rack in a convenience store run by 12-year-olds with no parents. Floor-to-ceiling shelves are packed with cases of Capri Sun, Colt 45 Blast (endorsed by Snoop Dogg!), Cup Noodles, Doritos, and Grizzly chewing tobacco. Memories of the elementary school lunches of the '90s come flooding back beneath pyramids of Kraft Handi-Snacks and Fruit by the Foot. A homemade refrigerator built of plywood, insulation, and a modified AC unit houses an impressive selection of bottled microbrews for sipping on porches and cheap canned beer for shotgunning in bathtubs.
The owners of I Have Munchies, Mark Arthur and Noel Davenport, are on a mission to bring the convenience store of your inebriated dreams to your front door during the crucial party hours of 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (still no alcohol after 2:00 a.m., unfortunately). For a small delivery fee, they'll bring you anything legal—beer, chips, smokes, and, soon, condoms—potentially rendering pants obsolete.
Their current delivery area is north of Lake Union, ranging from Sunset Hill to Ravenna, though last week they received an order from Salt Lake City. "We told that guy if he'd pay for airfare, we'd do it," says Noel. The inspiration for I Have Munchies came to Noel when he had the munchies late one night a year ago. "I thought, somewhere in Seattle there must be a place I can order food from this late. But there wasn't." He and Mark, he says, would be their own best customers.
I rode my bike to the Fremont stockroom with the intention of accompanying Mark and Noel on a night of bicycle deliveries. It's raining horizontally, though, so they opt for the use of a purple Prius. Mark became acquainted with bike messengers through his day job as a lawyer, as messenger services are often used to transport legal documents; he developed an interest in bicycles and started building single speeds from old parts. The gold Lotus Unique he's been using to make deliveries leans against a case of tonic water in the stockroom. He hopes to employ people who have worked as messengers when business expands.
Mark and I eat pasta out of a Tupperware container while playing with one of the company dogs, Zola. Mark tells me about I Have Munchies' involvement with Seattle Animal Shelter—the delivery service's website showcases a rotating selection of adoptable pets. A pet-of-the-month photo contest is coming soon, and the site also suggests attaching a bottle opener to your pet's collar: "How else are you going to get your bottle opener to walk over to you when you are lying on the couch?" Zola is resting a rainwater-and-saliva-soaked tennis ball on my shoe with great anticipation when the first online order comes in.
Rain, darkness, and address-obscuring cherry blossoms can't stop Noel from delivering a bounty of PBR and Fruit by the Foot to a sleepy and grateful Ballard man. He produces ID from the pocket of his plaid pajama pants, gives us a double thumbs-up, and retreats into the warmth of his apartment.
When we arrive at our next destination, a house in Greenwood, a blond woman eating a chocolate-covered strawberry answers the door. She seems surprised to see us. "Munchies? You mean that movie from the '80s about those little monsters that take over a town?" Mark asks if she means Gremlins, and she says we should come in, though we look "like rapists." A few people are milling around in the living room, smiling ambiguously. In the dining room, a man with a Mohawk sits alone at a table of mostly eaten chips and nuts, laughing quietly at a Bundt cake still in its packaging. "This is Mark!" the blond woman announces to her guests. "That's kram spelled backward!"
We're invited to pet a small dog lying on a couch, although "she's had diarrhea all day." Mark picks the dog up and she licks his face, expressing more enthusiasm than anyone else here except for the man in the dining room, who's still uncontrollably amused by the snack table. Everyone is friendly, though not terribly impressed by our delivery of strawberry Colt 45 Blast, chocolate chip cookies, and a case of PBR. The hostess asks if we have any whips, chains, or feathers for sale. "Bye, Kram!" she says as we step out the door.
Back in the car, there's speculation about the party. "We're learning a lot about people and what they do," Mark says. Noel and Mark are likely to make many more discoveries about people, dogs' digestive problems, and Bundt cake—future plans include expanding their delivery area and (they hope) establishing distributorships with Molly Moon's and Top Pot doughnuts. A business arrangement with Condom Depot is in the works, promising even more interesting delivery experiences. In the meantime, if you're closer to Fremont than Salt Lake City and need non-S&M-specific party supplies, I Have Munchies will brave the elements to bring them to you.