We took a group of teen writers to Powell's Bookstore to attend a young writers event called Book Fan Friday. One of the parents of the teens gave us enough coupons for all of us to get a Krispy Kreme Doughnut! We headed for our treat stop right after the workshop (the workshop was lead by authors Ruth Tenzer Feldman and Michelle R. McCann). I did not know you could watch them making the doughnuts. And I did not know that it could be so intense.
As we were eating our freebies and watching the machinery pump out perfect doughnuts, we saw that imperfect doughnuts were soon caught and trashed. That's the way life is when you're a Krispy Kreme. But there was a doughnut that escaped worker number one.
It was actually a double doughnut; one gooey, perfectly circular ball of dough overlapped another by an inch and a half. The Double Doughnut went through the hot oil and eased along the tank until it was turned over by another machine. But still it remained intact. When it got out of the oil and onto the conveyor belt, heading for the glaze, we thought for sure worker number one was going to catch it at any second.
The double doughnut made it! It went right through the glaze that flowed down like an opaque white curtain. We looked ahead. What was in store for our struggling main character? It was worker number two. Worker number two was putting the fresh doughnuts on the trays in pairs. What was our hero? A pair or an imperfection?
The conveyor belt is agonizingly slow. It curved around heading for the oven. We were certain our dear DD was safe from worker number one who was now concentrating on cleaning out the machine getting ready for different doughnuts. The angle was such that DD only looked like a single doughnut. It made it into the oven. We knew it would survive for at least a minute more as it went through the enclosure.
Worker number two was replaced by worker number three and she was placing the exiting doughnuts on the trays in pairs, just like worker number two. What was she going to do with our Double Doughnut friend who was not like any of the other doughnuts. We made guesses but all too soon, the moment of truth arrived. Worker number three picked up the five perfect doughnuts in front of our doughnut. Without thought, without knowing the seven faces pressed against the glass were anxiously awaiting the fate of this new doughnut, worker number three picked up DD and put it back on the conveyor belt just beyond her.
There was only a couple of feet left of conveyor belt. It seemed our imperfect doughnut was at the end of its young life. As the conveyor took the doughnut to the edge where the DD would drop into the garbage pail lined with a white plastic sack, we hummed taps. But then the miracle!
The doughnut would not drop off! Part of it dangled over the edge. The other part clung to a metal bar that the conveyor belt dropped below. Even at the end, our dear Double Doughnut refused to give up. We looked for worker number one. He was standing next to the dangling doughnut, but his back was to it. Would he turn around at any moment and slap our doughnut into the garbage? Worker number three had gone elsewhere; she didn't notice the poor doughnut either, or surely she would have pushed it to its doom. There were other workers--preparing apple fritters, getting fresh doughnuts for the customers. No one noticed the tragedy unfolding before our eyes. Should we tap on the glass and get someone's attention? If we claimed that imperfect doughnut, would they not throw it away. Finally, one logical voice in the group said, "It's going in the trash unless we take action."
He was right. I told everyone to keep an eye on that doughnut. My daughter thrust her wallet at me so I had money to buy the doughnut, to save it. I rushed around the corner and waited. So many people were in line. I glanced back at my group. The DD was still clinging. Finally, finally, it was my turn. As quickly as I could I explained the dilemma and worker number four came through. She snagged a piece of tissue paper and went to the back. I could see through the glass--there were cheers and thumbs up!
I asked worker number four how much I owed her. She smiled and pushed the bagged doughnut across the counter to me. It was free, in more ways than one. It was a Krispy Kreme doughnut that lived up to its potential.