Friday, June 16, 2006

They Called Him Whitebeard

Every Thursday, I pick up a box of donuts for my kids’ breakfast. As a family, we prefer the box o’ donuts to the bag o’ donuts.

This is not because the box of donuts tastes better than the bag of donuts. In fact, I’m not sure if the donuts taste good at all. I’ve noticed, for instance, as we chomp down on the white powdered donuts, that the box (and the bag, for that matter) refer to the donuts as “powdered donuts” – and not “powdered sugar donuts.”

I find it curious that the manufacturers don’t mention sugar, but my curiosity stops there. If that’s not sugar, I’m not sure I want to know what it is. I also eat Cheez Whiz although I don’t know what “cheez” is and am reasonably sure that I won’t like hearing what “whiz” contains.

We buy the box of donuts (as opposed to the bag of donuts) for one reason only: my kids think the box looks like a pirate treasure chest.

As an American parent, I’m naturally proud that my kids have already learned to consume products on the basis of packaging rather than actual quality. It’s nice to see that the Hummer truck commercials are having an effect.

But I think there’s more to this. When I bring in the box of donuts on Thursday morning, my kids’ faces spark up and glow. The kids sometimes actually clap. It’s like the Publisher’s Clearinghouse van has pulled up to their house and instead of bringing a lame million dollar check, the announcer has brought something really cool – a chest full of doubloon-shaped donuts.

While I watch my kids feast, I like to think about the fierce pirates of yore who must have plundered the seven seas and then converted their booty into donuts. I think about the bloodiest buccaneer of them all, who stalked the decks of his ship with the entire front of his body covered with something that looked like powdered sugar but tasted nothing like it.

They called him Whitebeard.

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