Saturday, July 30, 2005

Doughnut pass go

I was quite hungover at work on Friday so, realising my cheese and ham sandwich probably didn’t possess the required hangover curing properties, left the office in search of something high in both grease and calories, ideally a juicy slice of pizza. And so it came to pass that I found myself in the bakery, where we now find me greedily peering at the display of jam doughnuts.
“I’m having some of those,” I think to myself wickedly, “two of ‘em.”
“I’ll have two of those please,” I say politely.
“Twos seventy pee,” says the no nonsense lady serving me, “but we’re doing five for a pound today.”
“Five?!? Bloody hell!” I cry.
The lady stares back at me nonplussed, but one of the other members of baker gives me a knowing smile: here is someone else accustomed with the irresistibility of a binge when faced with a box full of doughnuts, a kindred spirit. I lose count of the number of times I’ve woken up half clothed in the morning, a sugar induced headache and no memory of the night before, the only clue being a thick residue of icing and jam coating most of my face.
“Yeah, OK, I’ll take five” I relent, proffering a pound coin in my grubby paw.

Soon after, I found myself down a back street, frantically scoffing and thus, just like that, I have fallen back into my bad old ways. It had started innocuously enough back in the day; just a few doughnuts with some of the guys on the way back from school. I mean, everyone was doing it, it was probably more about image than the taste back then. But soon we started seeking out the harder stuff: toffee flavoured custard fillings, almond and caramel coatings, that sort of thing. And the local Master Baker was always on hand, always happy to supply us at the drop of a hat, and always offering us a free first try of his latest recipes. Naturally, we all thought he was a top bloke, but soon enough we were properly hooked and that’s when his attitude towards us started to change. God forbid if you couldn’t meet your payments: next thing you knew he had you pulling tricks on the village green.

Fortunately I got out before the real serious stuff, Krispy Kremes, started to find its way across the Atlantic. Apparently, that stuff’s lethal: one bite and you’re hooked. It hasn’t quite taken the stranglehold grip we were forewarned it would in this country, perhaps due to different styles of consumption, the way our cities are laid out, or different compositions of the so called ‘most at risk groups’, I don’t know. But in the States they’ve got whole stretches of cities which have been left in states of decay, highly addicted psychotic users, maternity units flooded with Krispy Kreme babies and brutal glazing wars. Or so I’m told. Some of my old friends have gone down that way. I never see them any more, they’re too far gone really, but nor would I want to, I’m sure I’d feel the temptation to dabble if I was in their company.

I’d been clean for almost a year until Friday. Like most people who realise they need to stop, it had reached the point where my consumption had reached an all time high and feeding my habit was becoming an all-encompassing part of my day. I was doing as many as eight a day, and that starts to take a toll both financially and health wise. I was writing my dissertation at the time, and from my bedroom window I could all but see the Percy Ingle bakery on Roman Road. It got to the point where they’d got to know me and my order there, and in the end that’s what probably saved me.
“Hey! It’s the Doughnut Guy!” the Caribbean staff would cry out in their sing song patter as they saw me.
I would visibly cringe at this moniker: a little professional discretion, please! It was so humiliating to have obtained a nickname about my habit which, up until then, I’d been able to deny to myself. It’s those cheeky staff who saved me though: like a former junkie picking up his methadone from the chemist, I would scuttle out clutching my package whilst all the other customers openly stared and muttered about me. I couldn’t take that degradation any longer, and finally managed to stop, cold turkey.

I'm hoping Friday's relapse is a one off.


Shane said...

Heh, it takes a lot of bottle to write what you just wrote. You had a problem and you dealt with it. I've lost friends to iced splits and I've seen a few near misses with apple turnovers. Having had a brief spell in the Mr Kipling Clinic myself I understand the worry that Friday's 'blip' will have caused. Stay strong friend, and remember - it doesn't take many steps to find yourself on a very slippery slope.

Koala Mentala said...

You're the Doughnut Guy! That's cool.

deanne said...

Aw man. A Krispy Kreme has just opened around the corner from me at Holborn - so far I've been able to resist, but this post has just tipped me over the edge!

Must - go - find - orignal glazed - donut.... *drool drool*

Huw said...

There's a Krispy Kreme at Holborn?
One word:

S T R A I N !!!

I could get there and back this lunch hour. No-one need know. My secret. Nothing wrong. Not hurting anyone. *starts to rock*

Tell me, does it have one of those conveyor belts which passes through the glaze waterfall. Those things get me all a flutter.

deanne said...

No, no, it's not a posh Krispy Kreme - just one of those little ghetto 'hole in the wall' ones, which admittedly takes the shine off a bit.

Resist Huw, resist!

Huw said...

Hmmm. That makes it easier for me to resist then if they're not fresh off the belt. The way they disintegrate and melt in the mouth when they're fresh out the fryer and through that waterfall.... Unnnngh!

Whilst visiting a posh K.K in the Bay Area, I amused and disturbed the staff in equal measure by 'tracking' individual doughnuts along the belt, face up against the glass, and then pointing and proclaiming "I want THAT one!!!" once their journey was complete.

MMM...donuts said...

Oh Huw! If you only knew of the sheer pandemonium that was caused by a "posh" Krispy Kreme's opening at a busy street in our overly-populated San Antonio. N'er before have I SEEN such craziness. People literally standing, for hours upon hours, outside the doors on opening day, just for that delectable, glaze-dribbled donut! And we DO have the conveyor belt, so you can pick out your favorite do-buddy, and watch him swim through the waterfall and troll towards you on the black belt of sweetness....narghghghhhh. I'm not a huge donut eater, but one cannot resist the temptation of a hot, freshly glazed K.K. donut. Not even the longest member of "on the wagon" club. Stay. Strong.

P.S. You're such a clever writer. Have you ever considered it as a career?

y-vonne said...

When I travel in Europe I go through withdrawal for Tim Horton's. I am absolutely positive that they sneak cocaine (or something else completely addictive in their boston creams). It is impossible to drive by a Timmy's (as I so fondly call them) without a large coffee and a creamy, mouth watering, chocolate covered soul saver. Let me know if you ever venture to Canada. You'll not be able to go back.

Matthew said...

I have not succumbed to the krispy kreme craze. I've had not a one, ever.