Sunday, June 05, 2011

5 JUN 11: D.D.-Day

Did you know Saturday was National Trails Day? I didn't know until WXTX "News at Ten" mentioned it -- and since Alabama Governor Robert Bentley noted the occasion, at least I trailed him.

Friday received a lot more publicity, because it was National Donut Day. Shouldn't these events be more connected? You buy donuts, then leave them on the trail to find your way home if you're lost.

National Donut Day only seemed to become a big deal in the last couple of years, because big donut chains gave away free food to mark the event. The first Friday in June marks the anniversary of the Salvation Army offering donuts to needy people - but you'll notice the Salvation Army doesn't join in this celebration unless a big fire erupts somewhere.

The thought of free donuts doesn't scare me in the least. After all, I used to devour four or five at a time when my father would bring a box home from work on Saturday afternoons. Those were the "good old days," I suppose - back when I only stopped eating them when my mother forced it.

But only two shops in Columbus offered free donuts Friday. I ruled out Krispy Kreme right away, for several reasons. It would be a crosstown drive from my home, and almost all of the chain's donuts have a potential pork product in their glaze. For some reason, Jews and Christians don't think much of it -- while some Muslims consider monostearate monstrous.

That left Dunkin Donuts, and a different dicey dilemma. To get the free donut, you had to buy a beverage -- and what I discovered at the downtown D.D. a few weeks ago concerned me. Believe it or not, a 20-ounce bottle of diet cola is NOT a "beverage." Not for using a donut coupon, at least. Who's making the rules here, Jamie Oliver?

So I feared the worst from the Dunkin Donuts on Veterans Parkway Friday -- and sure enough, the rules were the same. A "beverage" on National Donut Day was defined as something from the beverage board. That meant something pricey like coffee or latte - the things which have made Dunkin Donuts little more than a Starbucks with better pastries.

I turned in disappointment at this news and walked out - realizing there was a second Dunkin Donuts waiting on Manchester Expressway. Perhaps the manager there would play by different rules. Silly me - that only seems to happen with the gas prices at Circle K.

A corporate sign on the counter at the Manchester Expressway Dunkin Donuts confirmed the worst. The beverage required for the free donut had an asterisk, specifying no "cooler beverages." That meant not even a container of orange juice -- so maybe Michelle Obama wasn't involved in this after all.

"I'll go ahead and knuckle under," I told the worker at Dunkin Donuts. I ordered three double chocolate donuts, including the free one -- and a small unsweetened iced tea for the required beverage. It cost me 30 cents more than the bottle of diet cola. And since I was being a big spender, I went ahead and made it raspberry tea.

As I drove home from National Donut Day, I reflected on how the rules had changed. Two years ago, Dunkin Donuts simply gave one to all comers. Last year, a diet soda would have been acceptable for the beverage. This year, it wasn't. So what will they do in 2012 - insist you order one of those new tuna sandwiches on croissants, which have nothing at all to do with donuts?

And while the major chains made such a fuss about National Donut Day, my local favorite apparently did nothing special. Golden Donuts has lower prices and more variety in baked goods. If you want a free deal there, you'll have to wait until 24 December - and time your trip for the hour when they're cleaning off the shelves, before closing for Christmas.

-> We hit it big again Thursday night at a local poker tournament. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

SUNDAY SOAPBOX: Friday's focus on the 100-degree heat brought some words of clarification....

Hi Richard.:

It's not that we scoff at global warming, , we just scoff at the hubris of those who insist man has caused the problem and that man can affect a change. After all scientists tell us it's also warming up on Mars and other planets and last I checked no one from earth lives on any of the other planets.

Best Wishes,


Uh-oh -- I didn't realize it was getting warmer on Mars, too. That may explain why scientists can't find life there. All the Martians are inside air-conditioned caves.

Did you notice how much cooler Columbus was Saturday? The high was NOT a record, and ONLY reached 98 degrees F. Somehow the presence of Katherine Kington doing both news and weather on TV didn't make things as hot as I expected.

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