Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Great Pentagon Doughnut War

At a time when the nation is at war with murderous religious bigots; when the federal budget is a mess; when members of Congress refuse to work with each other, half of them despise the President, and both parties despise each other; at a time when ebola is ravaging West Africa, volcanoes are erupting all over the place, earthquakes are causing devastation and loss of life, and the nation's capital is tied up in knots over whether or not the local football team should be called the "Redskins" or something less inflammatory, you'd think we have enough to worry about.

You'd think wrong.

The really critical issue of the day is this: what constitutes a doughnut?

This is a matter of no small concern to my coworkers and I, because it comes to the heart of one of our very serious office traditions. You see, we work in the Pentagon. To enter the Pentagon, one must have a Pentagon access badge which features a magnetic stripe that allows one to swipe into the building itself and then into the various individual rooms to which one is authorized access. If you forget your badge, you can get a temporary visitor's badge, but it doesn't have the magnetic stripe, and so you can't enter your office unless someone already inside comes and opens the door for you.

In our office, the tradition is that if you inconvenience your coworkers by forcing them to get up and open the door to let you in each time you come back from a meeting, the bathroom, lunch, etc, you are required to buy a box of doughnuts as payment for the disruption to routine.

Now, a few weeks ago one of my coworkers ... we'll call him "John" ... forgot his badge. In due respect for tradition, he stopped by the Dunkin Donuts shop on the way up to the office and picked up a box of "Munchkins" - donut holes:

When John opened the box of Munchkins, another of my coworkers ... we'll call him "Mike" ... objected vociferously that John had not followed the rules, because he hadn't bought doughnuts, he'd brought Munchkins. These, Mike insisted, are doughnuts ...

Ridiculous, responded John. Munchkins are doughnuts, just in a different form.

Not so!, insisted Mike ... the rules say doughnuts, and Munchkins aren't doughnuts.

It went downhill from there, with the folks in the office lining up on both sides of the argument. John turned to the Eternal Source of All Questionable and Unverified Knowledge*, Wikipedia, and printed out the entire file on doughnuts - including pictures - to prove that Munchkins were, in fact, doughnuts. That file hangs on the office bulletin board to this day, ignored by partisans on both sides of the argument who believe with nearly religious fervor that Munchkins either are, or are not, real doughnuts**.

Me, I'm agnostic about the whole thing. Who cares about the shape, as long as they're free?

So, Dear Readers, what's your opinion? Is Mike right, or is John right? Does it matter? Or should we try something else? ...

Leave a comment and let me know.

Have a good day. And have a doughnut while you're at it. And a nice cup of coffee, too.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* Sing halleluja!

** At least nobody has cut any heads off, yet.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

The definition of what is really a doughnut is very serious. Is it a doughnut only if it's toroid with the obligatory hole? By that definition, Bismarks and beignets are excluded. And what about cinnamon twists and bear claws?

I think that the guy who bought Munchkins was going cheap. Bad form!

Grand Crapaud said...

And what about cake doughnuts?

And do they count if the vendor spells them "donuts"?

Linda Kay said...

Well, now, we do have some additional querries to your question with the addition of the other forms of fried pastries. I'd say if they sell them at the doughnut show, then I'll just take one. The munchkins can fool you into thinking you aren't eating so badly as eating a whole doughnut. So maybe he was just trying to help everyone stay on their diets? ;-)

Gonzo Dave said...

Dammit, Bill! I told you to *warn* me before you posted this. I didn't have a doughnut here to eat while I read it! (Or a Munchkin, either, come to think of it...)

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Holy shit you guys take your donuts seriously!
I am not a fan of the donut so I apparently could not work there.
I would say a munchkin is a donut hole, coming from the "donut" required therefore a form of a donut. Gee I bet "Mike: won't make that mistake again.

Mike said...

Doughnut holes are made out of dough and they look like a nut so they are more donuts than those other things called doughnuts. Plus they are straight out of the middle which should be the only type donut allowed in the Pentagon.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

They all taste the same, however they are shaped, don't they?

Chuck Bear said...

Do Munchkins come with sprinkles too?