Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Donut Study Stimulus

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Doughnut Who?
Doughnut forget to close the door!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Doughnut who?
Do not ask me again!

Why donuts? Why not? I've been thinking about the economic stimulus proposal of Obama and the Democrats in Congress. As long as trillions are going to be spent, I propose a study (to be carried out by me, of course) examining the influence of the seemingly humble donut on the human mind. Perhaps we can start in the workplace, offering free donuts every morning to millions of stressed out employees. Worried about getting laid off? Down a few donuts with your morning coffee and see if you don't have a brighter outlook on things.

Plus, thousands of donut shops and their workers will no longer have to rely on the police to guarantee their profits and jobs.

Millions more will consume the floury, sugary treats daily. We'll be able to test the power of donuts to overcome the will-power of those who attempt to eat something "healthy" and low-carb for breakfast.

In the break room one recent morning I encountered co-worker Nicholas. He was heating soup in a paper cup (microwave eating at its finest) but was ignoring the boxes of bagels invitingly open on the tables. There was quite a variety, including what appeared to be some sort of sun-dried tomato bagel. Bagels are a fringe benefit where we work, brought in one Friday a month for all to enjoy on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also several kinds of cream cheese offered for enhancing your bagel of choice, including plain and fruit versions such as strawberry. I asked old Nick what kind of bagels he liked.

"I'm not a bagel guy," came the reply.

"Oh, well they sure look pretty good to me," I answered. "What kind of a guy are you?"

"I'm a donut guy," he replied.

Now we, at least in our department, also get donuts on the occasional weekend. This is not company policy, but just something done by a manager or even sometimes one of the peons. They'll bring a box or two of a dozen donuts in on their own to share with everyone working that day. On one recent weekend morning I again encountered a co-worker in the break room (this time it was Elizabeth) and she too was heating something in the microwave.

"Smells good" I noticed.

"It's the filling from last night's tacos. My mom made them. I'm trying to lose weight so I'm not having tortillas with it."

I too have decided it's time to get rid of a few pounds, so that same morning I brought with me one cheese stick and two whole wheat saltine crackers. That was to be my entire breakfast and possibly lunch as well. And then Cathy showed up with two big pink boxes in her arms.

"Donuts everyone!" she announced loudly.

I tried, I really did. Believe me, I wouldn't lie about something like that. But the thought kept entering my head, one little donut can't hurt, and besides, you can start getting serious about your diet tomorrow. I went to the two pink boxes, their lids now removed, on the table at the back of the room. I picked the largest donut I could find (free food, may as well take advantage, you know) and walked the precious edible back to my desk. On the way I happened to pass Elizabeth's desk and noticed something sitting right beside her taco filling, an enormous maple frosting covered donut! Tortillas no, donuts yes, was that her motto? I guess if this guy's experience is any lesson, maybe that is the way to go. 

I think it deserves study. Congress, here I come.

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