Sunday, November 18, 2007

1-2-3-4, I Declare a Donut War!

AS MEMBERS OF THE WGA, the wife and I have been walking the picket lines since we got back from our New York vacation on November 6th. We normally picket in the mornings, since it’s been in the upper 80s in Los Angeles lately (just like mid-November oughta be!) and a couple of days ago we decided to bring some delicious donuts to our fellow strikers. Inadvertently, while choosing our two dozen donuts, I started a Donut War.

The wife and I were taking turns choosing donuts, and during one turn, she chose cake donuts with white icing sprinkled with coconut. In my estimation, a very unpopular donut choice. And I said as much, admittedly with a total lack of tact. I said, “No one’s going to eat those.”

Once on the picket line, I was called to task regarding my poo-pooing of the coconut donut, and also for the jerky way I poo-pooed.

“Well, come on, honey,” I said. “Let’s face it, coconut is not a popular donut flavor.”

“I like coconut donuts,” she replied, pointing out that one of my choices, the chocolate iced donut with chopped peanut sprinkles (third from the bottom in the accompanying photo), was an equally terrible donut.

“You’re crazy,” I said, again with an awesome amount of tact. “That’s a way better donut choice than a coconut donut. I guarantee you that at the end of the day there will be two donuts left: the two coconut donuts.”

And thus the war was on. It also prompted a $20 bet, with my wife insisting that no one would so much as sample the peanut-covered donuts. “Who wants a crunchy donut?” Whereas I was certain that the coconut donuts would be the fat kid in gym class, last in the box, totally neglected.

We marched and marched for a time, making small talk about other things, both of us stealing surreptitious glances into the donut box with each pass. Then my wife said, “You can’t just eat part of the peanut donut in order to win, you know.”

“Honestly, until you mentioned it, I hadn’t even considered that as an option.”

“Well, don’t do it,” she said.

Around and around we walked, watching the donuts in the box dwindle with each pass, until there were only four donuts were left: two coconut and two peanut-sprinkled.

Obviously, my penchant for the peanut-sprinkled donut was not shared by the masses, a surprise to me. And I said as much.

“It’s a terrible choice,” my wife replied.

“But I still insist that coconut is an even worse choice.”

“We’ll see.”

It is significant issues like this one that divide us. Only the most vital of international and social and moral topics demand this sort of tenacious loyalty, this level of passion. The mistreatment of political prisoners in our jails. The civil unrest in Pakistan. And whose donut choice will be least popular. These are the dynamic topics of discussion in our household.

A few minutes later, I heard my wife gasp, “Oh my god!” She was looking in the donut box. Someone in the picket line had taken half of the peanut-sprinkled donut. Conceding defeat, my wife tore off a bite of one of the coconut donuts. So, I was vindicated, if only barely. By the time we left, there was one coconut and three-quarters of a peanut-sprinkled donut left.

Two lessons were learned on this day. One: Peanut-sprinkled donuts are only barely more popular than coconut donuts. (Who knew?) And two: Nobody really wins a donut war. One can only hope to survive it and find a way to go on living.

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