Krispy Kreme Me

Krispy Kreme Me - by Colin Newell

Nothing gets the attention of my fellow lab technicians faster than the appearance of a box of doughnuts.

It's part of an ancient reward system, apparently only understood by the initiated - doughnuts appear when tasks are completed.

Okay, so projects get completed in a timely fashion in our realm regardless of whether or not there is promise of greasy nuggets or cartons of caky morsels. Far be it for me to re-educate clients of our computer lab. My job is not to contradict the genuine satisfaction that is achieved by the deliverer of said carbohydrate rich snacks. Oh no, not I.

Truth is, I do not eat doughnuts. At least not the kind of doughnuts that turn up in our lab.

I am the first to let everyone know, that in my lab, only the best coffee is being served. Word gets out. This is part of the problem in Colin's world and sadly, my colleagues have become unwitting victims of our own success. There was a time when I could serve anything that looked and tasted even remotely like coffee. A few short years ago I could have popped open a tin of the most wretched mass produced pre-staled floor sweepings that the neighborhood grocers shelf could eject. And now, the boys and I are victims of our own evolved palate.

Not long ago, the technical team were robust consumers of the discount bean. There was a time they would pay a dime for a lousy cup of mud and enjoy it. Nothing tasted better with this bitter brew than a dozen or so rings of fat and sugar from our neighborhood comfort-food vendor, Tim Horton's.
Tim Horton's - as Canadian as three rounds of hockey on a frozen pond. Tim Horton's - as much a part of our visual landscape as the maple-leaf on the pack-sack of the Canuck traveller. "Give me a double-double and a Maple-dip!" This is the familiar holler of the caffeinated Canadian.

Anything less than mass acceptance of this mantra is, sadly, un-Canadian.

Maybe I am not as Canadian as I would like to be and being the conscientious objector to all things mainstream, my dilemma became clearly more acute as the opportunity to sample the wares of the American invader, Krispy Kreme, came to pass this previous weekend. The Krispy Kreme empire really does have the marketing formula for guaranteed success. Think about it. One of their hot glazed doughnuts can be washed down with a few mouthfuls of their signature black coffee in less than a minute. Why stop there? Eat two, three, maybe four. Krispy Kreme doughnuts are just so light and airy that they could not possibly have any food value. They are equivalent to rice crackers, right? Wrong.

The average Krispy Kreme ring weighs in at a miniscule 2.5 ounces of pure satisfaction, 250 calories of comfort, 15 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. Still, these are modest numbers and popping two or three more is much like dropping an extra cracker or two into your chicken noodle soup. Well, yes. Well, no.

Part of a successful marketing plan seems to pivot on getting people to eat more than they need or, at least, buy more than they need and share the remainder with their clan. In our example, my wife and I went miles out of our way to visit the Canadian flagship. As first time consumers, that have heard plenty of the hype and ballyhoo, we were a little bewildered and surprised to find a very accessible and uncrowded doughnut shop. Finding parking right out front and spying a lack of humanity meant one thing for me - This was the calm before the next deluge of doughnut mad consumers. Surely these lip licking lemmings would be hurling themselves over the grassy knoll into a half empty parking lot any time now. All the more reason for my wife and I to get in there a.s.a.p and stake our claim!

Walking into a Krispy Kreme franchise means walking past the mechanism of mass production. I would guess that this sugar lubricated machinery could easily box upwards of 500 dozen glistening rings per hour. Surely this would meet the dessert demands of most small cities. I could be wrong.

My requests for a few doughnuts off of the display rack and a cup of black coffee were met with the kind of shocked expression you would normally associate with the following pieces of bad news: "Ma'am, your dog is dead.", "Sir, you car needs a new engine.", "Colin, your order of espresso machines went down with the ship!".

Looking around me, the anomalousness of the situation came into exact focus. The nuclear family of four in the corner booth noshed down on an even dozen. Next to them, four ESL students from the Pacific Rim giggled nervously as the sugar dust settled around their opened boxes. At the feet of the two groups were two distinct stacks of see through Krispy Kreme carrying bags. The family had six boxes, the girls had four. Ten dozen doughnuts between eight people. I had it all wrong. I cleared my throat and with my beloved wife offering emotional support, I managed to pick one dozen doughnuts from the seemingly endless supply, and yes, I asked for a black coffee.

By the end of our first visit, my wife and I managed to nibble away two of our dozen doughnuts. The coffee was, like most fast food coffee is, hot and wet and generally good for washing down a tasty treat like this. Ten doughnuts left for friends and family on our little island oasis, that is as of today, still Krispy Kreme free.


Colin Newell lives and works in Victoria, B.C. Canada and sees Krispy Kreme as the 'one ring that will rule them all!'