by Chris Gay
Dawn broke on a new day in the old silk town situated just east of Hartford, Connecticut. Morning comes early here in the east. In fact, it consistently gets here three hours earlier than it does in the west. But you’re not here for a geography lesson. Actually now that I think about it, rarely does the west coast get to see an actual “live” performance of Saturday Night Live. Although that, too, is irrelevant; so we’ll move on.
As I got myself out of bed and headed for the door to retrieve the morning paper, two thoughts occurred to me. Firstly, (yes it’s a word) why do I bother with the paper when anything that could possibly be in it I’d already have learned through my computer, cable TV, & cell phone the night before? Secondly, (also a word, but I’m guessing most of you knew that) I was hungry. So, I decided to do what the men in my family have done for centuries, ever since our family’s original patriarch came over on the Mayflower. Or was it the Sunflower? No, wait. Neither. He was Lithuanian.
At any rate, though the rest of this sentence may sound redundant, like my forefathers before me I decided on journey to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts. As an aside, imagine if you were on Wheel of Fortune, that was the puzzle, and you guessed a “G”? I mean technically, there are two G’s in that phrase if spelled correctly. There are also 2 G’s at some point in every trip to space. Or maybe not, though it seems like a safe assumption. But I digress.
With strawberry frosted doughnuts, excuse me, donuts now fully occupying my thoughts, I quickly tossed the paper on the table, grabbed my keys, and headed for the car. Minutes later I was at the counter, cursing myself for holding the door for the woman who now stood in front of me on line ordering a half dozen coffees, each with preparation instructions so unique that they’d aggravate Wolfgang Puck. Had I known this would be the case-and I should have based on prior experience-chivalry indeed would not have survived on this day. It was eerily reminiscent of a garden variety trip to the deli counter; only with pastry instead of cold cuts.
Finally, she was on her way without as much as a cursory acknowledgment to my inconvenience. No matter. I was on the clock. With my anticipation levels having been built up to a crescendo, I looked out upon the racks and instantly found myself wracked with disappointment. (Like that? Racks and wracked are nearly homonyms. In fact, if I could’ve used them as ‘rack’ and ‘wrack’ they would’ve been) But I couldn’t.
So anyway, what I saw was a very sparse selection. I should’ve known this, as when you take a chance on a Dunkin’ Donut’s connected to a gas station, you’re chancing slim pickings. I mean the assortment, not the singer. He passed decades ago and, in any case, spelled his surname ‘Pickens.’
What I glazed-sorry, gazed-out on was disappointing to say the least. Cruellers (the ‘e’ is optional, but I’m trying for a decent character count here) and Boston Cream. I really hate Boston Cream, and not just because I’m a Yankee fan, as ‘Yankee Cream’ doesn’t sound any more appetizing than the aforementioned. Frankly it sucks. Vanilla Kreme, whose innards taste as if they were harvested from a can of Duncan Hines frosting, are far superior. Alas, there were none. So cruellers it was. I placed and then paid for my order and, not being a coffee drinker, swung by the station’s cooler to grab a Coke Zero. Yes, I do realize that it’s an absurd justification to think diet soda makes up for two large French pastries, but I don’t make the rules.
I paid separately for my aspartame-infused seltzer water and made my way back into the saddle of my 4 liter mount. For one fleeting moment, I considered consuming them right there, but for some unknown reason take-out food tastes better if eaten from your own couch, while reading your antique newspaper. I drove away unhappy in the knowledge that I’d soon be left satiated, albeit unsatisfactorily. What can you do? I thought to myself. It’s been said that Life has its little peaks and valleys. This was a valley. So be it.