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Red badge of courage
If you wait long enough, everything comes full circle, not that it’s always a positive human trait. But crew cuts are back, and it’s again safe to express an affection for a Krispy Kreme donut. We North Carolina natives grew up proudly thinking our local state product was a fine intermittent treat, but during the ’80s when the words “gourmet” and “cuisine,” not to mention “nutrition,” were imported into our culture, we learned to keep our mouths shut about the Winston-Salem donut empire.My friend Dave says, “If you have ever lived in Germany (which he has), the American approach to bread products is incomprehensible.” By his report, every street corner of every small burg has a home-owned bakery with an infinite variety of delicacies, each as refined and perfectly crafted as a Mendelssohn composition. It’s possible to find such a place in the U.S., but it’s very rare.
However, if you’re hungry and in need in North Carolina, (a friend hurt your feelings, you were losing it in traffic congestion, or your job seems meaningless), try to find a Krispy Kreme, it’s no problem. And, if the need for comfort is deep, try the “raspberry filled,” which we, of course, used to call jelly donuts.
The inspiration for these thoughts came from the subconscious, a dream I just had, (this is true) where I was buying large bags of Krispy Kreme jelly doughnuts and wandering the local landscape passing them out to friends. The bags were dripping, sticky, and red. My hands were coated with the stuff, but no friend turned me down as they ooohed and aaahed… their lips revealing a faint, secret smile at this act of infidelity to their vow of health and fitness. Analyze my dream anyway you like, I don’t care.
It was simpler in our past when we weren’t bombarded with this encyclopedic knowledge of the molecular composition of food and the dirty details of metabolism. “Eat less, exercise more,” were two rules that used to suffice for the whole issue. And, “you are what you eat,” seemed a fair enough measure for making decisions that excluded a too frequent indulgence in Krispy Kremes.
But every now and then, eating a Krispy Kreme can be the right thing to do, though being “out” about jelly donuts still requires a solid sense of self and a good support system of family and friends. Don’t be ashamed, this is not a character defect; it is not a moral issue. Get a jelly donut and drip some red goo on your shirt; wear your red badge of courage proudly. Save ethics for stuff that matters.
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