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Friday, March 07, 2008

Donuts Cigarettes Coffee

About a fifteen second walk out of my office to the main hallway and into the next office suite area on a metal book shelf sits two boxes containing delicious donuts. If there was a crisis situation necessitating me getting to the donuts sooner than fifteen seconds, I could probably get there in six, eight seconds tops. The donuts came from one of those really good bakeries. This morning I had just one, an old fashioned sour cream glazed jobber. Those good bakery donuts have the perfect balance of sugar, fat, and structure so that their goodness lasts throughout the day, unlike krispy kremes that go to total shit. The once nice glaze on those krispy kremes starts to melt when they start a-rubbin' together or if the temperature climbs outside of the quality control range. That melted glaze is impossible to get off your hands with just a napkin - you have to get up (if it's even possible after the shot of cholesterol hits the bloodstream) and go wash your hands or your keyboard and mouse will get all sticky. Maybe you don't care about that, but if you're at home and have roommates and one of them uses your 'puter, he or she might get sick not knowing the exact reason for sticky fingers.

That donut I had this morning delivered everything I was looking for from it. I got the sugar rush, the flavor, and then got the sugar crash and sick feeling you get after eating something so wonderfully unhealthy. I was able to not go back for another. Before lunch I went gyming and played some pickup soccer for a little bit outside. After my peanut butter and jelly sandwich I was still a bit hungry so I went to CVS and purchased mixed nuts and crackers.

Now I am full, but the nuts and the crackers are unopened. I was reminded about the donuts and pounded two more. The first had chocolate frosting and coconut. It was so damn good. The second was a cake donut with a sugar coating - not powdered sugar, the bigger granules - and that little bastard was tasty as shit too. I so far have resisted going back for my 3rd of the afternoon and fourth of the day, but there are still 2 hours left in my workday.

It's a damn shame donuts are so hard for me to process now. Donuts have been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. Back in southeastern Michigan, I remember my dad coming into the kitchen with a coffee and a box of donuts on Saturday mornings. My mom would make me eat regular breakfast before going to town on them. In southwestern Michigan, I have fond memories of family trips to Wick's Apple House, home of the most delicious donuts I have ever had. They were the type that would only be good for a day or two and were the dense cake style. All of their varieties were amazing. The plains had a perfect amount of oil on them so that they really went down easy, especially with some fresh cider. Their trademark was their cinnamon sugar variety. It was a very fine powder and was just loaded on, to the point where on most of the donuts in the dozen bags you couldn't even tell there was a hole in the middle because it was all jammed up with cinnamon sugar. I never tried snorting the cinnamon sugar because I was very young and additionally it made no sense. But what I did do was put the center sugar-rich section up to my open mouth and take a quick little breath in. It was very uncomfortable, and sometimes I ended up dropping the donut in a fit of coughing, but this was one of the stupid rituals I stuck myself with so I just did it. When I went away to college I really missed those Wick's donuts. A few times I went home and brought some back with me and shared them with my closest friends.

The first job I ever had was working cleaning machines and PC's on the shop floor at a local machining shop, and yes, donuts were a big part of my job. On Saturdays I made sure to get in before the 9:15 break because the owner of the plant would always bring in boxes of donuts to the break room. It doesn't get a whole lot better than taking off the big rubber gloves I wore while wiping down lathes and drill presses and mills with shop cloths, taking a nice sip of fresh coffee, a big bite of donut, and capping it off with the first drag of a Camel filter. On a good day, I would finish the donut, cigarette, and coffee timed so that I would hear the sound of the end-of-break buzzer from the commode I just sat down on.

That was the kind of job that a feller could do just about as well stoned out of his gourd as not, so he usually was.

I used to do a lot of thinking back then about the magical donut-cigarette-coffee interaction. I wasn't the only one either. The band fishbone wrote a song about it. I used to think about how, if I won the lottery, I would want to spend my days eating the finest donuts the world had to offer, having sex with a beautiful woman, drinking coffee, and smoking cigarettes. I figured that the sex would help keep me from becoming morbidly obese if I did it enough. Now that I'm a nonsmoker, one of the three crucial pieces is gone, so if I somehow won the lottery or a 20+ team parlay I would have to find another way to spend my time. Commercial real estate in DC is probably too expensive for a donut or coffee shop to survive, the kind I loved so much back in the Midwest. Maybe there are enough Midwesterners around here who miss 24-hour coffee shops enough that one could survive here, but it would have to be like a country club where you have membership fee and quarterly dues. Everything about it would be like a typical South Bend, IN diner with a big "EAT" sign outside though, except maybe for the crappers, which would be really nice with multi-ply toilet paper and no urine everywhere.

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  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger Joe said…

    Good one. I'm sure I looked really funny to the people walking by the store (I'm at work) who saw my giggling all by myself as I read your post.


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