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Why I Do Not Eat Doughnuts

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I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.

- Green Eggs and Ham (1955)


I do not like doughnuts. Never have, never will, and with good reason. Among the myriad offensive foodstuffs enjoyed in this nation of artherosclerotic manatees stuffed prematurely and unnecessarily into grossly over-expanded stretch-pants, whirring around strip malls in motorized scooters, the doughnut has always been, and will always remain, particularly loathsome.

The why of it's simple. The doughnut is a delicacy of the dim - a favored indulgence of those with a pedestrian palate and absolutely no understanding of how to run a cost-benefit analysis.

Consider the endless varieties of vice in which one can engage. Sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling, smoking... Each is bad for the body or mind. But each also provides something else: A respite from the tedium, or stress, of the instant. In other words, a "high." This is reason enough to indulge. You know a cigarette's bad for you, and that fourth martini does no kindness to the liver, but running the cost/benefit analysis, a case can be made for doing either, or both, or both at once. The cigarette tastes great, and provides the blessed rush of nicotine. The glass of spirits provides -- well, we know what that provides. There is no case in defense of the doughnut.

One can argue, of course, that the wages of smokes and liquor are cancer, heart attacks, and possible cirrhosis. And this is true. But he cannot make the argument with any credibility that doughnuts are a better deal. The doughnut aficionado risks almost all the same maladies, plus the diabetes attendant to obesity, and for what? No one's gotten a buzz eating a doughnut, or had his appreciation of cuisine expanded for the effort. When it's done, it's gone. There isn't even the lingering calming effect one gets from a cigarette. You've enjoyed a cheap pastry, cooked in lard, and it now sits in your intestines, converting to additional layers of fat on your already ample carriage.

And let's not avoid the elephant in the corner, aesthetics. Peter O'Toole has smoked and drunk prodigiously his entire life and though he's haggard in his dotage, let me ask you this: Would you rather resemble him, or that two hundred and seventy pound human resources manager availing herself of the free doughnut holes in your floor's break room? The one who's drenched in sweat from climbing one flight of stairs, and whose labored breathing is only muffled by the occasional glazed chocolate cake ball temporarily damming her throat.

"If you're going to have vices, make them worth it" is about as strong a logical conclusion as any rational man can muster. A failure to live by this speaks volumes to a person's powers of cognition, and self worth. To eat doughnuts regularly demonstrates either a flagrant disregard for the pros and cons of ingesting deep fried dough or, as I suspect is much more often the case, a depressingly high susceptibility to being bought off cheap.

This gets to the core, existential problem with doughnuts. He that can be plied with the simplest mix of fat and sugar can be plied with almost anything. Watch the heavy doughnut eaters around you and consider whether these aren't the people on your floor most likely to fall prey to a predatory subprime lender, get rich quick scam, or invest their inheritance in developing a nightclub. If a man will answer as Pavlov's dog to the call of free break room pastry, what can't he be manipulated into doing?

There is no happenstance in Homer Simpson's love of the doughnut. Matt Groenig knew what I know, what you know, what everybody who feels a deep sense of helplessness watching the fifty inch waisted roll out of Krispy Kreme with a dozen in hand, stuffing themselves into driver side-leaning minivans, understands: The ubiquitousness of the doughnut, and its acceptance as valid breakfast nourishment, is a demonstration of everything wrong with our population.

Have a steak, have a whisky, have an occasional bowl of ice cream if you like. But a ball of grease-soaked, sugar-coated cake batter? And having one every day, or even three or four times a week? This is selling one's health out for pennies on the dollar - quantity over quality, and ease of gratification over all other considerations. The fix of a Doritos-and-Bud-Light, Ass-Stitched-To-The-Couch society. To love the doughnut, to consume it more than one ought, which is barely above "rarely," is to declare one's gullibility, and the low price for which he'll trade the only asset that matters.

I'd like to think my health and appearance merit abuse with something providing a bit more bang for the buck. At a minimum, Dewars.

[Read more from The Philadelphia Lawyer]

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