Frodo and Big Bird walk into a bar…

Today, I woke up feeling like a Miller Lite truck ran over me, backed up, and ran over me again; that’s 30 points to the driver, for anyone keeping score.  I know you might be thinking “God, Sara. It’s Wednesday. Drinking on a school night?” and my answer to that is “Yes”.  Now, let’s not get crazy and call the child safety and well-being authorities, Tuesday nights, my son goes to his father’s “house” and I get a night off.  House is in quotations there, because, well…it isn’t really a house…his home has wheels and a trailer hitch…the economy has been hard on us all. My son is fascinated by his father’s dwelling and frequently asks if someday we can have a house with wheels on it, my answer to that is always “No”. I’m not judging here, I just don’t want to ever have to remember to put my house in park before I take a shower.

I don’t have to get up and function on Wednesday mornings, so I typically spend Tuesday night with my boyfriend, drinking beer and watch a lot of ESPN. Last night, we ventured out of the house and met his friend “The Brit” for a drink at a local watering hole.  My boyfriend shares my habit of giving people nick-names, only he is usually much nicer and more literal about it.  The Brit, as you may have already guessed is from the United Kingdom. He has another friend whom he calls “The Big Jew” because he is quite large and was born of the Jewish faith.  Unlike me, my boyfriend is quite liberal with using these names in public and everyone is aware of their nick-names. The Big Jew wasn’t there last night, so we all drank his share of the alcohol. 

My friend Lucy and I have secretly been giving people disparaging monikers since we joined forces in sarcasm in 2005.  They are never nice, but they are always appropriate.  People we know have been knighted with names like “Rat tail” Charlie, “Chuck Frank”, “Reverend One Ball” and my favorite, Tina “Man Hands”. We use these names in conversation, without regard or explanation, with people who aren’t occupying space in our grey matter or privy to our 6000 daily text messages…often leaving folks very confused.

Tina “Man Hands” used to work with Lucy and although, I never personally met her, she was Lucy’s arch rival in the work place and I heard about her a lot. I was told she had enormous mitts. Now, I have big hands but they are proportionate to my body. My hands have been measured and in more than one instance, were deemed larger than the hands of a man I was  in the presence of.  I am not a petite woman, I’m not a basketball playing amazon either; but I’ve been called tall and even been referred to as a “big bitch”.  I’m not sure if that last reference has anything to do with my size, but I’ve decided to take it that way.  I’ve also been called “Big Bird” because of my height and frequently blonde hair, by my friend Ryan.  Ryan is less tall than me, and called me Big Bird in retaliation for me addressing him as “Frodo”, just in case you’re wondering. Anyway, back to Tina. I trust Lucy’s judgment and believe that this broad’s hands were freakishly large. I also believe Lucy’s description of Man Hands’ personality and lack of hygiene. I was told she alternately smelled of urine and alcohol and thought herself irresistible to the men that happened to cross her path. She was, on more than one occasion, very drunk in the office and would stumble around, curse like a trucker or sit on people’s laps.

One day, Lucy was relaying a story about Man Hands to her mother; she was halfway through her description of her intoxicated behavior at the company Christmas Party…when Lucy’s mother interrupted and said “Geeze, you’d think she’d change her name. Can you imagine how hard it would be going through life with a last name like Manhands?”.  Lucy then had to explain that Tina didn’t know her name was Man Hands and sit through a motherly lecture about being nice to other’s and not pointing out their flaws.  Lucy’s mom hasn’t given up on trying to make sure her little girl acts like a lady, like mine has.

“Reverend One Ball” was not an ordained minister. He also worked with Lucy and was the office’s resident religious nut.  He would use the company’s water cooler as his home base for converting people to Christianity.  He was also a survivor of testicular cancer and spoke frequently about his horrific ordeal.  Everyone that he met was told of his faith and one empty nut sack. The Reverend had every reason to behave the way that he did, having beat a terrible disease.  But, no one wants to hear about your testicles while they’re trying to scarf down a salad and read the paper. 

“Rat Tail” Charlie is a guy that Lucy and I know through frequenting a bar.  He’s that special kind of loser that doesn’t appear to ever actually leave, because he is always seated in the same place drinking a Budweiser, every time you walk in.  He was still holding out hope that the mullet was going to come back as the favored hair style of old, redneck men. He had a normal enough looking hair cut in the front.  The back of his head was closely cropped with the exception of a very long chunk of hair situated at the nape of his neck.  He wore these Rapunzel-esque strands of hair in a braid, and was always in a t-shirt that said something like, “This isn’t a beer belly, it’s a shed for my tool” or “I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention”.  Because Lucy is a lucky girl, Rat Tail Charlie took a shine to her.  He’d compliment and try to woo her while he said ridiculously homophobic things about gay men. I have listened to this man utter phrases like “I don’t have a problem with the gays but, I don’t understand why them people go gay. If one of them ever hit on me…boy, I’d put a hurtin’ on him”. Charlie, if you’re reading this, which is doubtful… I know you have that certain je nais se quoi that you think people find beguiling; but I don’t think you’re ever going to have to refuse the advances of another man, or a woman with questionable eyesight and taste, for that matter. No one is going to want to play with your braid and even the most desperate of gay men would go sheep, before he ever went Charlie.    

“Chuck Frank”, whose name is actually Charles Francis, was renamed because we didn’t think Charles Francis sounded masculine enough.  He had fallen under the spell of a particularly disgusting woman and to his parent’s horror, proposed marriage.  While she planned their cheesey, princess themed wedding and sucked down “pink wine” or White Zinfandel as it is known everywhere that isn’t planet Whack Job; she ordered him around like a Four Star White Trash General. This union didn’t last long and I believe it ended shortly after the police were called to investigate a domestic disturbance at their home.  She evidently got into a box of pink wine and gave him quite the ass kicking.  I don’t think he ever pressed charges, but I know he got a good divorce attorney.

To my knowledge, I don’t believe I have ever been given a nick-name that stuck.  I have been trying to get my friends to call me “Delicious” for years, but only one of them has taken up my cause.  Lucy sometimes calls me Penelope Carter-Green, but that’s another blog, for another day.  I had a boss that used to call me Sally, which is evidently a nick-name for Sara, but it never made much sense to me.  Sally is equal to Sara in the syllable arena and it’s not like Sara is hard to say…it kind of rolls off the tongue.  My phone number is stored in my boyfriend’s phone as “Sarah Hot” which has always made me wonder if there’s a “Sarah Not Hot” in his phonebook. When we met, he must have found me attractive and assumed, as most people do, that there is an “H” at the end of my name. If you’re currently addressing me as anything other than my given name, I’m curious to know what you call me.  If you aren’t, I’d like to suggest you start referring to me as Delicious.

Doughnuts are educational.

Last night I had a hankering for Mexican food.  I should have just driven through the drive through at Taco Bell.  What I would have ordered there would have been just as authentic and not nearly as labor intensive than anything I could prepare in the kitchen, but I took a trip to the grocery store instead.  While walking up and down the aisles looking for products with cartoon senoritas on the label, that alert me to the fact that this is what advertising executives think Mexican Nationals eat, I veered off course and stumbled into the bakery department.  I try to stay out of this department, not because I don’t like baked goods, but because I normally have a small child with me.  Fresh baked cookies, when mixed with an individual under the age of 12 have the same effect as crack. Since I didn’t have the boy in tow, I decided to stay for a while and admire all of the powdered, sugary deliciousness. 

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m pretty skilled at turning down the advances of a Bundt cake. I can walk away from a loaf of bread like nobody’s business.  I can even laugh in the face of chocolate cheesecake.  My Achilles heel is the doughnut. I love them more than Rick James loves cocaine, more than Liza Minnelli loves gay men and yes, even more than Joanie loves Chachi .  Surrounded by a sea of delectability, there I stood face to face with a table full of every variety imaginable. Before I knew it, I had my hands around a package of chocolate glazed heaven and had abandoned my pilgrimage to the produce department to procure tomatoes.

In my mind, there is no food product more perfect than the doughnut.  They are portable, versatile, and can be complimented just as well by coffee, as they are by tequila. I know this because I have actually had tequila and doughnuts for dinner, don’t judge me on this culinary exploration, I was in college when I discovered this.  If you want to judge me on something, I had tequila and gummy bears for dinner a few weeks ago; I can honestly say it wasn’t nearly as delightful as the doughnut coupling, but tasty nonetheless.

Doughnuts can usually be found traveling in herds of 12, but any skilled hunter will normally be satisfied with picking off one or two stragglers. They can be powdered, glazed, drenched in chocolate, sprinkled, cream centered or, for you heath conscious folks, filled with fruit. 

Every civilization worth knowing about has their own version of the doughnut. The French have the Beignet. Germans make the Bismark. Italians celebrate the Fritole and the Zippuli.  The good people of Thailand chow down on Paa Thong Koh.  I suspect that this world-wide phenomenon, more than crop circles and pyramid construction, supports the theory that intelligent life visited our fledgling planet in 3100 B.C., and imparted its inhabitants with the information it truly takes to build a thriving society. 

If Marie Antoinette would have said “Qu’ils manget de la beignet” instead of suggesting the angry, hungry people of France eat cake, she might have been spared the guillotine…because everyone knows doughnut eaters are happy and non-violent sort.  If the Spaniards would have packed up Churros, along with whatever the disease they brought to the Native Americans, they might have been able to encourage the Indians to cooperate more easily. There would be no debate about whether Christopher Columbus was a murderer and responsible for the enslaving of thousands of indigenous people. Hell, I showed up for work on a regular basis for years because there was the promise of doughnuts on Friday mornings, I don’t think the Native American’s would have done any differently.

Lastly, I would like to point out the symbolism of the shape of the doughnut. It is a circle; one could infer that this means that there is no beginning or end to its deliciousness. Yes, I am implying that as well as appealing to your taste-buds, the doughnut can help you achieve that moment of Zen you may have been looking for all your life.