This is Dough-NUTS!

Earlier this week, Krispy Kreme held the grand opening of its newest store just a few miles from my house. You’d have thought the first customers through the doors won the state lottery. I’ve never seen such an amped-up bunch of doughnut-lovers, at least the ones who stepped up to the television cameras. Even the news anchors caught the fever, practically giddy with their coverage, which in turn had me thinking, “Hello? Isn’t there anything more important going on in Colorado Springs?” Welcome to America, where the opening of a fast-food restaurant makes headline news.

Full disclosure: I’ve had a Krispy Kreme doughnut and they’re positively scrumptious.  Put a box of the original glazed in front of me and I’ll polish off at least half of ’em.  But that was years ago, back when Krispy Kreme was new and novel.  Today?  I take ’em or leave ’em, and apparently I leave ’em because I can’t tell you the last time I ate any brand of doughnut.  Regardless, doughnuts aren’t really my topic today; doughnut customers are.  Specifically, the ones who would get up at oh-dark-hundred just to say they’re among the first through Krispy Kreme’s doors on opening day.


Maybe these nuts for doughnuts are the same people who purchase tickets to the opening of a feature film; the ones who wait hours in line, watch the sold-out midnight show, then fall into bed bleary-eyed at 3am.  I want to get down on my knees and plead with them, “Hey you, the movie will be shown a hundred more times and will be just as good as the first showing”.  Why give up a good night’s sleep to say you saw it first?  Krispy Kreme will sell their doughnuts for years and they’ll taste just as good next year (and the year after that) as they do on “Grand Opening Day”.  Why the rush?

Here’s something else I don’t understand.  This same fast-food frenzy applied to Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, and two weeks ago, Whataburger when they opened their first stores in town.  The local news gave us updates for months until their “big days”, then cars backed up by the dozens through the drive-thru, then all you’d hear from neighbors was, “Did you hear what just opened?” like it was the juiciest bit of gossip ever. I can think of a dozen local, family-owned restaurants opening in the past several years, and not one of them earned the same hype as these national-chain fast-food commoners.  It’s like we Americans are addicted to fast food.  Which of course, we are.

Why again?

If I’d kept the local news on all day Tuesday, I would’ve seen the same on-the-spot reporter at Krispy Kreme, giving updates every two or three hours on the progress of the grand opening.  Instead, I just pulled up the news channel website and watched her short videos, one after the other after the other.  This reporter was at Krispy Kreme the entire day (that’s 5:30am-10:00pm for those who are counting).  She managed to look as fresh and bubbly with the first interview as with the last.  Probably hyped up on doughnut sugar.

At least she was getting paid.  Those first customers chose to be there voluntarily, which leads me to this question: what does the rest of your day feel like when you’ve been up since 3:00am?  One customer thought to pack pillows and blankets into her car for her three (pajama-clad) kids, so they could sleep while her husband waited in a line so long, the camera couldn’t find the end of it.  Another customer looked and talked like he’d just received his U.S. citizenship from a very faraway land, espousing the merits of the Krispy Kreme over the lesser doughnuts of his homeland.  A third customer, several dozen-doughnut boxes stacked carefully in her hands, boasted how popular she was going to be when she showed up at work (and between you and me, she looked like she’d had plenty of Krispy Kremes already).

Here’s my favorite part of this “news story”.  This isn’t the first Krispy Kreme to open in Colorado Springs.  Years ago, when KK doughnuts were a new rage, Colorado Springs got its first store.  A few years later it closed.  After that, you could only get pre-boxed Krispy Kremes at a few convenience stores around town.  After that you couldn’t get them at all.  Then several years pass.  Now we’re doing it all over again, with the same amount of hype.  To which I conclude: What does it say about your city when headline news that doesn’t deserve to be headline news becomes headline news all over again?

Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

Some content sourced from the Krispy Kreme website.


Lego Grand Piano – Update #11

(Read about how this project got started in Let’s Make Music!)

Today’s build stepped away from the body of the piano (again). Bag #11 – of 21 bags of pieces – started out as a bit of a mystery.  If I’d looked closer at Mr. Instruction Manual, I’d have known what was coming.  At some point in the thirty-five-minute assembly it became obvious.  Keys, Francis Scott.  Piano keys.

I put the Bag #11 keys side-by-side with the piano in the second photo so you can get a sense of scale.  They’re kind of a “module”, which should insert comfortably into the front of the piano later.  My next several builds may be more of the same.  Remarkably, the keys are weighted just like a real piano.  Press one down and the red-tipped weight way at the other end brings it back up.  Think see-saw.  Lest this photo has you thinking “easy build”, Bag #11 contained well over 200 pieces.

Running Build Time: 8.7 hours.  Musical accompaniment: Ravel’s Boléro (twice through). Leftover pieces: 2

Conductor’s Note: Boléro is one of my favorite classical pieces and Ravel’s most famous work.  Listeners either love it or hate it.  It’s a fifteen-minute variation on two themes, with the orchestra building slowly to its crash-bang finale.  The repeating themes are so simple I could probably play them with just the few piano keys I built today.  Ravel composed Boléro as a ballet (it does sound like a dance or a march) and predicted most orchestras would refuse to play it.  He was wrong.  Boléro also gained considerable notoriety as the theme music for the 1970s movie 10, starring Bo Derek and Dudley Moore.

Some content sourced from Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia”.

Author: Dave

Three hundred posts would suggest I have something to say… This blog was born from a desire to elevate the English language, highlighting eloquent words from days gone by. The stories I share are snippets of life itself, and each comes with a bonus: a dusted-off word I hope you’ll go on to use more often. Read “Deutschland-ish Improvements” to learn about my backyard European wish list. Try “Slush Fun” for the throwback years of the 7-Eleven convenience store. Or drink in "Iced Coffee" to discover the plight of the rural French cafe. On the lighter side, read "Late Night Racquet Sports" for my adventures with our latest moth invasion. As Walt Whitman said, “That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” Here then, my verse. Welcome to "Life In A Word".

22 thoughts on “This is Dough-NUTS!”

  1. HI Dave,
    Like you, I cannot understand waiting in line to be the first to get anything, a donut, a cell phone, to see a movie. I guess people like saying they were the first at something.
    I am also a take or leave donut person. I will not touch a Dunkin Donut, but will eat a Krispy Kreme on occasion, like once a year.
    And the piano is beyond exciting!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cell phone demand is more of a desire to have the latest version, isn’t it? Ditto cars, where some drivers simply must have the newest model once it hits the showrooms. I prefer to run my phones and cars into the ground before I buy new ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We used to have Krispy Kreme around here but Dunkin’ came into town and KK left. I’d say that when the news of the day is new donut shop, you might be living in a place where people are desperate for any conversation that doesn’t involve politics. Your piano is looking grand!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that’s an interesting angle on it, Ally, one I hadn’t thought of. I like to think our conservative-politics county has better things to talk about (than politics, not doughnuts) but the times, they are a-changin’. We’ve had an influx of more liberal people from the West Coast the last few years, so politics is more the topic of the day. Personally, I’d rather talk doughnuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not something I’d line up for, that’s for sure! I suppose, though, that the lineup will be orderly.
    When we lived in the Middle East, I quickly found that their line ups were different than ours – wide, not long. I had to drop off a prescription at a hospital pharmacy. There was one window and the line was about 20 people wide and 10 people deep. Everyone just pushed and jostled everyone else until they got to the window. I watched it all in disbelief for a while. Eventually a few locals kind of pulled me into the crowd and helped push and shove me towards the front.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wasn’t that a line from “Bruce Almighty”, Margie? Morgan Freeman (God) made reference to inventing standing in line, and how before lines everyone just milled about. Sounds like the Middle East (or the New York City subway). No thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We think alike, Monica. I “looked ahead” at the remaining ten bags of pieces and almost took a picture of the substantial pile. Can’t tell where they’ll all go, to be honest. But the math tells the story (gulp): 3,662 pieces divided by 21 bags (total) times 10 bags (remaining) equals… I’m not even to the halfway point!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I will say the boxes of holiday themed donuts they sell looks very cool, and I’ve thought about featuring them on my food insta, but then I would be stuck with 12 doughnuts I’d feel guilty not eating. I also don’t get the chick-fil-a/in-n-out craze, but I did grow up with Taco Bell or Wendy’s for lunch every Saturday as a kid, so I suppose that used to be me haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, as long as it’s in moderation who am I to condemn the drive-thru? We love Chick-fil-A. We go for the occasional Wendy’s single. Maybe the difference is, we choose these options because we don’t have time to cook at home or to sit down at a “real” restaurant. Holiday-themed donuts? Okay, I may have to stop in at our KK store after all… in about nine months.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You can’t beat having someone else cook your meal without having to even get out of the car! They have all the holidays, they just had St. Patrick’s ones, not sure if they will have Easter but I’m sure they will have some patriotic ones in July 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Easter” Krispy Kremes? Now that sounds entirely appropriate (picturing a big, yellow, egg-looking doughnut). Beats the “hot-cross” buns my mother used to serve as a nod to tradition (and I hate fruitcake). Thanks, Lyssy, I may be hitting up KK sooner than I expected.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. If you go to the drive through and wait for 20 minutes with your engine idling, doesn’t that increase the food cost by a factor of 10? I never understood what all the fuss is about with KK or Dunkin’. Now, a bagel and lox, I might wait for five minutes for – if it was really, really good.

    But at least you don’t have something more horrible to report in the news.

    The piano is looking great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good perspective, Andrew. I could’ve trolled the newspaper for something truly disturbing and then nobody would’ve learned about this very important doughnut fuss. Solid calc on the food cost too. Reminds me of my sister-in-law, who will drive twenty miles to use a coupon that saves her $0.50. The photo of the drive-thru I posted above looks exactly like our In-N-Out property, no matter the day, no matter the time. I’m sure all those customers get lost in their phones instead of watching the gas gauge.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Perhaps it was a slow news day…..or they were looking for anything possibly resembling good news? I’m not a big fan of donuts, we have Tim Hortons here on every street corner and I don’t understand that degree of market saturation, but I had a KK once and it was very good and different, as in melt in your mouth sugar fat high good, but generally I prefer my carbs in a healthier format. It reminded me of those paczki Polish donuts they make before lent, only they have jam in the middle.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Compared to Los Angeles (where I grew up), we have a lot of slow news days around here. I get a kick out of some of the stories considered “news”. This one was just a little over the top.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I tried Krispy Kreme when they first came out and I remember the novelty of going into the store and watching them being made. I’d actually rather have a cruller or nutty donut than a Krispy Kreme which I find vert sweet. I also do not “get” the lining up for the opening of a new food or treat place. We had a Chick-fil-A open in a neighboring city within the last six months or so and we likewise had that opening covered by all the local media – even the traffic reporter weighed in on the line size and how it affected nearby traffic. I think they were giving away a sandwich a week for a year. We have the ad nauseum coverage of the shopping malls on Black Friday and my all-news station gives traffic and weather every ten minutes, so all day long is a wee bit much, then the “mall reports” are each weekend after Black Friday, then Christmas Eve, then the crowded parking lots of those returning presents/using gift cards on December 26th – enough already! I liked your description of the first customers at the new Krispy Kreme – made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of our newish Colorado In-N-Out locations is right next to one of our most popular shopping malls in Denver and the traffic overlap is a nightmare. So much so, the city has traffic cops and orange cones to weave the cars to whichever location they’re choosing to go. Time-of-day doesn’t seem to matter – always busy. Now we avoid that side of the mall altogether.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Indianapolis has had the same KK arc you have experienced, right down to a highly hyped grand opening within the last month. I don’t recall the hype level being as high last time around. I wonder if there are some advertising dollars that find their way into that kind of TV news coverage.

    And I love Bolero. My mother had that on a record when I was a kid and I have never tired of hearing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The classical music “classics” are underappreciated and timeless. They never get old (IMHO) and always seem to be the perfect choice when I’m not in the mood for other genres. As for the KK reboot, you made me think of Hollywood. Just how many versions of “Batman” are we going to get, yet every version seems to be a blockbuster?

      Liked by 1 person

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