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Fiction, Short Fiction, Humor
The Krispy Kreme Dream Team
by: Rob Rosen
I always wake up early on Saturdays, despite the fact that, yes, I don't have to go to work and, no, I really don't have to be up at that hour. It's kind of like going to church on Sundays. Not that my addiction is religious or anything, mind you. Not really. Though I could have sworn I saw the Virgin Mary once in a swirl of glaze. (Those other customers will back me up on that one.) Of course, she sort of melted and congealed by the time I got her home and in front of a camera. By then she mostly looked like any other ordinary doughnut. Not that Krispy Kreme doughnuts are ordinary. No siree, Bob. Not by a long shot.
Anyway, that's not the story here. It might have been, had that particular doughnut not been so hot and wonderful and all. In any case, it did taste "heavenly" going down. Sorry for the awful pun. It's just that I have this certain, well, predilection, a penchant, a weakness, if you will, for all things Krispy Kreme. No, this story happened after that one, though both started on similar mornings.
I awoke, as usual, at five-thirty. You see, at six, they turn on the Hot Light. That's when the Original Glazed yeast-raised doughnuts come straight out of the oven and are available for anyone to purchase, anyone being mostly me and the few other people that regularly join me for this rather early Saturday ritual: The Krispy Kreme Dream Team, as we frequently call ourselves.
Let me see, there's me, of course. And there's Sally. Sally likes the Chocolate Iced the best. There's Hank, whom we like to say has a hankering for the Glazed Raspberry Filled. (Yes, it's hard to be either funny or original at six in the morning.) There's Clancy, who enjoys the Traditional Cake, lord only knows why. And then there's Juanita. Ah, Juanita. She inevitably opts for the Dulce de Leche, what with her being Latin American and all. The smooth caramel filling perfectly matches her beautiful complexion. On occasion, we're even joined by Rabbi Gold. (All the ingredients in the doughnuts are Kosher. Even the Krispy Kreme plants in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Effingham, Illinois, where the mix is made and then shipped to the franchises, have been certified Kosher. I bet you didn't know that.)
Being a traditionalist, however, I pretty much stick to the Original Glazed. Oh sure, on occasion I mix it up with a Glazed Lemon Filled or a Cinnamon Apple Filled. I've even been known to indulge in a Chocolate Iced Cruller, from time to time. No one can call me predictable, that's for sure.
Anyway, it's not the type of doughnut that matters to us. It's the fact that they're Krispy Kremes that keep us coming back each and every Saturday like clockwork. You can keep your Dunkin's. Blech! They pale in comparison. And store-bought, forget about it. I wouldn't be caught dead with those. No, only Krispy Kreme has that certain, um, je ne sais quoi. (The secret yeast-raised doughnut recipe was originally bought from a French chef out of New Orleans.) No, the competition, if you can call it that, can't come close to the flavor, the texture, the aroma, and definitely not the taste of a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Why, just the name alone evokes a reaction in the old cerebral cortex. You can almost smell the dough now, can't you?
Okay, I know what your thinking. This guy's a whack job, a nut case, a psycho. Or, more appropriately, he's one doughnut short of a baker's dozen. On the contrary, I'm a perfectly sane and reasonable man. I simply have this thing for Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It could be worse. I could be a crack addict. Or a drunk. I could smoke like a chimney. Hell, I could have a whole list of faults that would be worse than my compulsion for these delectable morsels. (Granted, your basic Original Glazed has twelve grams of fat per serving. You don't even want to know how many are in a Chocolate Iced Custard Filled. But it is a good mile from my house to the store, so I do walk it off. Mostly.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, that fateful morning. Sorry, I sometimes get sidetracked when I start talking about my Krispy Kremes. So there we were, me, Sally, Hank, Clancy and Juanita (I think it was a Jewish holiday, so Rabbi Gold wasn't there) and we were all lined up and patiently waiting for the Hot Light to come on. But it didn't.
The five of us stood there in silence. We nervously smiled at each other as we waited, each thinking that it was merely some glitch and that our beloved doughnuts would soon be served. The minutes seemed to pass like hours. Sally hummed. Hank impatiently tapped his feet. Clancy nervously fiddled with his jacket zipper. And Juanita and I shrugged at each other and giggled uneasily.
Then I noticed something amiss. Something I hadn't noticed before that moment.
"Do you guys smell something?" I asked, my nose intently sniffing the air around me.
"No," they collectively answered.
"Me neither," I said. "Something's not right."
I broke out of line and put my ear to the door that separated the kitchen from the store. I clearly heard something, but couldn't quite make it out.
"What is it?" Hank asked.
"Dunno. Sort of sounds like a …scuffle. But that can't be, can it?"
Sally gasped and Clancy switched from playing with his zipper to grasping at his goatee.
"I'm going in," I announced.
"No, it might be dangerous," Juanita said, and then ran up to me and grabbed my arm to try and prevent me from entering.
"But what if the baker's in trouble? Who will make our doughnuts?" I asked, afraid of the answer.
Juanita nodded and grabbed hold of my shirt as she gently pushed me forward through the swinging doors. The others trailed close behind.
"Hello?" I barely managed to utter as I craned my neck around the door. I could feel the collective breath of our team behind me.
We inched our way in, one by one, until the five of us were now in the bakery. Each of us intently looked around as we entered this, for lack of a better word, shrine. None of us had ever seen where are doughnuts came from. Perhaps we all thought that they simply appeared each and every Saturday, as if by magic. But no, the shiny equipment and boxes of powdered mix that surrounded us proved otherwise.
"Look," Juanita whispered into my ear and pointed to a corner of the room.
A short, rather portly man, dressed completely in white, was lying on the ground. His arms were tied behind his back and he was gagged with what appeared to be a kitchen rag. Here was our baker, clearly in trouble, and clearly not making our doughnuts. He motioned with his eyes and head to another room off to the right, behind a conveyer belt that I assumed usually held our cherished baked goods. (Or should that be fried goods? By the way, Krispy Kreme doughnuts are cooked in 100% vegetable oil, not animal lard as is so often incorrectly reported, probably by those evil Dunkin' people.)
We crouched down and crab-walked our way to the back room. I grabbed for a rolling pin as we slowly made our way. The other followed suit, each grasping one kind of instrument or another. Clancy, in the rear, picked up the only thing left, a bag of flour.
When we reached our destination, I placed my finger over my mouth to indicate that everyone should keep quite. Then I slowly raised my head up and peaked inside the window of the back room. A man, who clearly wasn't a baker, and therefore contemptible in my book, was filling an empty Krispy Kreme box with money. Not doughnuts! Well, this I simply could not tolerate.
I jumped up and shouted as loud as I could, "Stop, in the name of the…the name of the…"
Juanita finished my sentence. "The Krispy Kreme Dream Team."
I looked at her in astonishment. She never looked lovelier. I nearly forget about my doughnuts as I gazed into her eyes. (Nearly. Not quite.) My cohorts, emboldened by our brave stances, also rose and raised their weapons up against the criminal.
"What?" he said, smirking evilly at us. "Are you gonna roll me to death?"
We each looked at our so-called weapons and realized that he had a point. But Clancy, who always seemed the most timid of our group, clearly had had enough. He raised his bag of flour high over his head and with all his might through it at the feet of our assailant. Bags of flour, as you may or may not already know, are not meant to be so poorly mishandled. Not surprisingly, it exploded in a cloud of white dust, enveloping the man who just a few scant moments prior was acting so smugly towards us.
"That'll teach you to mess with our doughnuts," Sally shouted at the man, who was hacking and trying as hard as he could to catch his breath.
When the flour finally settled, we rushed the man and began to pummel him with our pins and rollers and whisks. Hank, who hadn't said a word up until that point, clearly was the most disturbed by those early morning events. In a fit of rage, he began to shout at the man, "It's time to make the doughnuts! Time to make the doughnuts! Time to make the doughnuts!" I didn't have the heart, or the guts, to tell him that he was shouting the wrong slogan. Though, honestly, I didn't even know if Krispy Kreme had a slogan.
In any case, the five of us continued with our beating until the police arrived and realized that something was amiss. They found our group in the back, managed to pry us off the flour-drenched thief, and then promptly arrested him. Luckily for us, they seemed to have an affinity for doughnuts almost as keen as our own, but I suppose you knew that already. And then we all untied the baker and patted each other on the backs for a job well done.
Needless to say, the baker was thrilled at our success.
"Thank you! Thank you!" he shouted, as he shook each one of our hands. "If there's ever anything I can do for any of you, anything at all, just name it."
"Well," I said, speaking for the rest of us, "there is one thing."
"Yes? What is it?" He smiled and waited for my request.
"You could go make us our doughnuts. It's almost six thirty and the Hot Light is still not lit."
My friends nodded their approval at my appeal. Actually, we all helped the shaken baker out that morning and then gladly served our rescuers the results. It was the least we could do. And then we all went our separate ways, with several free boxes of freshly made doughnuts in hand. Well, we all made our separate ways except for two of us: Juanita and myself. I invited her over for a cup of coffee to go with our much-coveted treat. She graciously accepted. The two of us have been together ever since. And, every once in a while, she even shares her Dulce de Leches with me. Naturally, she can have as much of my Original Glazed as she likes.