Doughnut run has him flunkin’ Dunkin’

Photo by Scott Saalman

By SCOTT SAALMAN
Guest Columnist

Recently, I had to contend with an epic battle between good and evil: To doughnut or not to doughnut.

Angel: All those calories and sugar—

Devil: A doughnut never hurt anyone.

Angel: Au contraire. April 2017. A man choked to death on a doughnut in Denver.

Devil: That was a half-pound glazed doughnut which he tried to wolf down in 80 seconds as part of an ill-conceived eating challenge.

Angel: I recommend angel food cake. Egg whites. No fat.

Devil: Nope, no bias there. Earth to angel, humans aren’t sponge eaters. Besides, Scotty deserves a doughnut.

I hate being called Scotty, but, otherwise, I liked the devil’s thinking. Still, the angel had a valid point, for my weight weighs heavily on my mind:

My 32-inch-waist jeans no longer fit, even with stretch-fabric. (Note to editor: The same could be said about my size 33 jeans too. I’m just not ready to talk about it. Delete this parenthetical disclosure before going to press.)

I dread medical appointments, not because of possibly learning I have a disease, but because of the anxiety associated with mounting the clinic’s hallway scale next to the nurses’ stations before being ushered into the privacy of an exam room. Why not put scales in the exam room instead? Given the choice, I’d choose being weighed in the exam room and then go into the hallway for the actual exam (any exam!). Weight is a very personal thing!

A photo of me and my wife in Cozumel shows her left hand cupping a noticeable stomach bulge (mine!). There are identical left hand placement poses in other photos with her tubby hubby too. I rue the day she starts pointing instead of cupping.

Still, I wasn’t deterred from driving to Dunkin'.

The devil made me do it.

The drive-thru was crowded. Apparently, the whole town deserved a doughnut. The day was a scorcher, could melt chocolate. The angel and devil returned while the car idled.

Angel: You can still back the car out before Brynne poses with TWO hands on your stomach.

I looked down at my belly bulge, frowned. A car pulled up behind me. No longer last in line, I was trapped, feeling as helpless as a peg-legged pirate forced to play hopscotch. I had no choice now but to order a doughnut.

Drive-thru speaker: Thanks for running on Dunkin’, what can I get you today?

Me: I’d like a—

A jet-engine-like blast suddenly sounded from the nearest bay of a car wash located less than 10 yards away from the speaker. It blocked out all other sounds. “Boston Kreme,” I shouted. I doubted the drive-thru manager heard me. I couldn’t even hear myself.

Devil: A yeast shell. Bavarian filling. Chocolate topping. Yum.

Angel: Three hundred calories. Fats. Carbs. That car wash dryer is God speaking—

Devil: Scotty deserves a doughnut.

Too impatient to wait for the car wash dryer to time out, I advanced to the window to repeat my order in person.

I put the doughnut bag on the passenger seat.

Devil: See. I told you. Scotty deserves a doughnut.

Angel: More like Scotty deserves a double bypass.

I pulled the chocolate-topped Boston Kreme beauty from the bag while exiting the parking lot.

When driving under the influence of a doughnut, you have to steer with your left hand at the 10 o’clock position and hold the doughnut with your right hand at the 2 o’clock position (source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration driver’s manual).

At the stoplight, I glanced at the doughnut tilting toward my mouth while held in the 2 o’clock position, but before taking the inaugural bite, I noticed that the doughnut’s top was void of chocolate icing. A bald Boston Kreme doughnut is a big buzzkill.

Peeved, I peered into the empty bag to see if the icing had fallen off inside. Instead, I found a big patch of icing on the back of my right hand. It had raced from the doughnut like quicksilver. The 90-degree day immediately softened the icing. The doughnut’s tilt while held in the 2 o’clock position prompted the chocolate slide.

There were no napkins in the bag. To avoid further messiness, I removed my left hand from the steering wheel and attempted to coax the icing back onto the doughnut, but this only resulted in my left hand’s forefinger becoming entirely enveloped by melted chocolate. It looked the finger of some rambunctious kid at a Golden Corral chocolate fountain.

There was chocolate on my right hand. There was chocolate on my left hand. Looking into the rearview mirror, I saw a smudge of chocolate on the bridge of my nose. Clearly, I was flunkin’ Dunkin’.

I returned the doughnut to the bag and slammed it to the floormat. I was done with doughnuts. I pondered using the nearby car wash to clean myself.

The stoplight turned green. Hoping to avoid getting chocolate on the steering wheel, I raised both messy hands surrender-like, unsure how to steer home. I needed a quick solution before cars honked. I looked down at my stomach to see if it could hold the car steady, but, alas, it was not expansive enough (yet!) to reach the steering wheel. It felt good knowing my stomach wasn’t driving-sized yet. I needed a reward. I reached for the bag on the floormat. The devil was right. Scotty deserved a doughnut.




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