Monday, July 11, 2016

The Doughnut Sketch

This is one of those things that is probably much funnier while it's happening than when I try to explain it a few days later  (very sorry about that). Or maybe I've already explained it once, which would be even more embarrassing, but here goes.

For about five weeks now, Eli 14.11 and I have been mentioning The Doughnut Sketch.

This originated when we were in line at Krispy Kreme, and the man in front of us was picking out a dozen doughnuts in the slowest, most excruciating way possible. He weighed every decision like we were at Defcon 1 and a mistake would cause nuclear annihilation.

In his defense Krispy Kreme has 32 different doughnut trays in the display case, and while there are a few duplicates, there must be at last 20 varieties to choose from.

"So do you know what doughnut shops were like in the Soviet Union?" I asked Eli 14.11 while we basked in line.

"No, what were they like?" he asked.

"There were still all these doughnut trays," I said, pointing at the display case, "but there were only glazed doughnuts."

"In every tray," Eli said, laughing.

"All exactly the same," I said, "but people wanted to pretend they still had the illusion of choice, so if someone was buying a dozen, they'd take just as long to choose as we would. One from tray 7, two from tray 12, and--oh man, only one left--I guess I'll take one from tray 17."

"All glazed," Eli said.

"That's right," I said, "and when he got home, he told his wife that what he loved about that particular doughnut shop was all the variety."

There's some kind of weird zen koan in there somewhere, I think. Or some kind of counterpoint to the koan where the zen student cut down everything in his backyard except one flower, and when the zen master arrived, he complimented his student on his beautiful garden.

So now, if we're ever in a situation where there only appear to be choices, it's called The Doughnut Shop.

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