The first evidence of my food obsession manifested early in my childhood, on Sundays, when my parents brought home a box of Dunkin’ Donuts. The sight of that pink, orange and white box would send my heart aflutter. I had an instantaneous, visceral reaction to the sight of Dunkin’ Donuts. I couldn’t think straight. I went into conniptions. Each second from the time I saw that magic box float through the doorway until I held the first donut in my hand was an eon. All I could think of was the heavenly mixture of pillow-soft dough and sweet icing. Hurry up, Mom. Let’s eat!
A family of four, we would each get 3 donut. I always got a chocolate long john, a vanilla long john and a glazed donut. Chocolate was my favorite and I often considered getting 3 chocolate donuts. But variety heightens the experience. Nothing complements a chocolate donut like a vanilla donut. Ebony and Ivory.
I was always the first to finish my donuts. My parents would advise me to eat them slowly so that I could enjoy them. What brought me the most joy, however, was inhaling them at the speed of sound. I’m not a man of moderation. And this prompted a bone of contention with my folks. I mentioned earlier that we each got 3 donuts. However, my parents never let me eat all 3 donut at Sunday breakfast. We had to “save one for later.” Eating 3 donut at once was gluttony, according to my folks. Well Mom, that’s when you know you’re doing it right: when you’re overdoing it. Sometimes, in order to do something right, you have to do it wrong. Eating donuts is a choice example. Donuts and temperance don’t mix, much like dagos and bathwater.
Yeah, Mom. I’ll save that 3rd donut for later. Don’t want to overdo it. While I’m at it, I think I’ll swear off premarital sex and late-night TV. Say, do you have a Bible I can read? This Playboy magazine is nothing but filth! (I often apply sarcasm like a salve to sooth angry memories from my childhood).
People often poke fun at donut-lovers. Police shoulder the reputation as slothful donut eaters. The popular situational comedy, The Simpsons, depicts Homer as a dimwitted donut hound. These stereotypes lack merit. I resent those who perpetuate them. The truth is, donut-lovers boast the loftiest intellects of the species. Show me somebody who hates donuts and I’ll show you a cretin or a communist.
There’s no such thing as a bad doughnut. Some are better than others, but all are good. Much like the adage, A bad day fishing is better than a great day at work; The worst donut is better than the best bagel. This is why I hold bagels in contempt. Every bagel could have been, should have been, a donut. Sometimes at work I’ll catch a glimpse of rounded pastries with holes in their middles. My heart skips a beat. Oh, man! Donuts! Then I’ll elbow punch a coworker or two out of my way and dart for the donuts. Ah, crap! They’re just bagels! Sorry about hip-checking you into the drywall, Chet. Let me help you find your crutches. How’s the artificial hip coming along, anyway?
When I was young, I would invert donuts so that the frosted top would come into contact with my tongue upon entry. Now that I’m mature and distinguished, I eat them in the orthodox position – that is, with the frosting side up. I still do a little dance after each bite, though. I’m no snob. Also, I’ve mastered the art of drinking milk at such a rate as to finish simultaneously with the last bite of donut. This takes great concentration and skill. It’s worth the effort.
Here’s a donut-related memory that perplexes me to this day. When I was nine, I slept over at my friend Ron’s house. The following morning, my friend’s parents served – jackpot, baby – Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. I started pounding down donuts faster than that Japanese dude eats hotdogs on the 4th of July. Anyway, Ron’s little brother was eating a bowl of Froot Loops. Why he wasn’t knee-deep in the donuts escaped me. Anyway, the little bastard finishes the cereal. So the father asks the little brother, “Alright, what do you want: a donut, or more cereal?” I remember thinking to myself, that’s the dumbest goddamn question I’ve ever heard an adult ask a kid. Of course he wants a donut. So the little brother kicks things around for a bit, weighs his options. Meanwhile I’m ready to spontaneously combust with suspense. Can this little prick possibly pass on a no-strings-attached donut – for a bowl of effing cereal? Finally, he tells the old man, “I’ll take some more Froot Loops.” If his old man had any sense, he would have kicked the crap out of him right there. But he didn’t. Instead he filled his bowl. I can’t hate Ron’s old man for that, though. The guy let me eat donuts until my heart’s content. I must have eaten 4 or 5. That shit NEVER would have flown at my house. Still, what a maladjusted kid. Obviously he exhibited the precursors of psychopathology. I’ll bet that today he’s in jail for some awful crime, or else a Democrat.
More and more donut stories are bombarding my mind even as I type. I don’t think I have time to recount the evening I drove to Dunkin’ Donuts, pulled to the drive-thru and heard some wiseass store manager tell me, “I don’t have any donuts to sell you.” What, are you flipping burgers back there, lard ass? You work in a fucking donut shop! Something about his employees calling in sick or something. Anyway, eff him!
Cheers to the donut, nature’s perfect food.