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.
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”.