'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
DONUT WISDOM OF THE AGES
There are some very annoying aspects about growing older. Death, for one. Another equally annoying thing about getting old is the inability to remember where you left your car keys. But every once in a while the wisdom and experience of age can be put to good use.
Recently I had the opportunity to pass along some important wisdom to a group of young professionals. These kids are all in their mid- to late-20s. I call them “kids,” even though they are adults, because anyone who got his or her first cell phone while in the 6th grade always will be a youngster in my book. Also, these “kids” assume when I was in the 6th grade I communicated by chiseling hieroglyphics onto stone tablets. Smart alecks. Everyone knows we had pretty sophisticated communications back then, primarily quill pens and the Pony Express.
Anyway, I was attending a meeting at the office of a client. In attendance were about half-a-dozen of these eager, energetic “kids.” During a lull in the conversation, I inquired about a pink stain on the otherwise crisp, starched white shirt of one young man. He explained it had happened earlier in the day when his jelly donut unexpectedly leaked.
Shocked at such a blatant business faux pas (French for: “leaky donut”), I immediately cancelled the remainder of the meeting (“Well, just tell the architect we’ll design the heating system for his building next week!”) and announced that it was time for some important life lessons.
I excused from the room a couple of my fellow middle-aged Baby Boomers—their wry smiles indicated they knew exactly what I had in mind—and gathered the “kids” around me. Then I began to lecture on the important topic of “Donut Etiquette.”
“All donuts are NOT created equal,” I began. Then for the next 30 minutes the group of wide-eyed youngsters listened intently as I explained the complex and yet rewarding world of office snacking.
Space limitations prevent me for repeating each and every crucial point that was discussed. But let me at least mention some key highlights for those young business professionals who may be reading this.
First and foremost is the concept of “office donuts” vs. “home donuts.” As Thomas Jefferson noted in the aforementioned quote from the Declaration of Independence, and as Alexander Hamilton discussed in Federalist Paper No. 7, all donuts indeed are not created equal. Certain donuts, specifically those filled with jelly or cream or covered in white sugary powder, are far too risky for the office environment. Over the years, many enjoyable mid-morning snacks suddenly turned tragic when bright red jelly plopped onto a white shirt, or yellow cream oozed from a Boston Crème donut into the lap of a brand new pair of pinstripe slacks, or white powder scattered unsuspectingly onto a dark lapel, giving the appearance that the person was in desperate need of industrial-strength Head ‘n Shoulders shampoo.
Those messy types of donuts should be enjoyed only in the privacy of your home, where you are free to don swimming goggles, tie a beach towel around your neck as an over-sized bib, and dive head-first into the delectable treat.
At work the donut selection should be limited to plain, glazed, chocolate, coconut sprinkles, and maple frosted—basically any donut that cannot accidentally explode in your face.
The other main concept of my wisdom-imparting session was automobile donuts. To summarize: crullers are king. Whenever you grab a quick snack at the drive-thru window, ALWAYS choose crullers. Their handy shape allows you to snack confidently and cleanly as you drive to your next business meeting.
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