There was once a popular ad on television, an ad of not that long ago, that had to do with donuts. Donuts, those good tasting bad boys in the round, are what I call a prophetic food. A prophetic food is one that, if consumed in great enough quantity, will make the eater look like what’s being eaten. It’s a sort of Dorian Gray way of looking at the food world. Dorian Gray, a character and title of a story written by Oscar Wilde, wished for never ending youth, a selfish wish in keeping with his selfish character. He lived a callous life, using and disposing of people as he pleased. While his wish came true and he never aged, his exceedingly immoral behaviour registered in an eerily changing portrait he kept of himself. Believe it or not, there’s a connection here. In that donut ad, a mass food production warrior struggles out of bed at some ungodly hour of the night to mutter, “Time to make the donuts.” I could never tell if it was the production schedule or the eating of donuts that made him look and act so terrible.
The devil’s in the diet.
Copyright James V. Michalec 2015
Either way, the ad convincingly convinced me that I shouldn’t have anything to do with the product. Those round things may taste good but the true cost is dear. No Dorian Gray food for me, thanks.
It goes without saying that it isn’t time to make the donuts when I arise from bed every morning. While I like to get at the world early, before it gets at me, food preparation is rarely the reason why. I like to write and writing in the morning with the brain recharged always yields the best results. Before arriving ritually at the appointed desk, tea in hand, the ritual of Woolx comes first. Never time to make the donuts, getting out of bed means it’s time to put on Woolx.
In these dark and disturbing winter days, the first voices heard in this house are voices seeking reassurance, security, comfort, and warmth. Like the blanket I dragged around as a child, my first waking thought is to locate what completely defines my idea of homeland security. Here’s the typical scene at 6 in the morning between my wife and I – with a proper translation.
“Where’s my Woolx ?” (Where’s my blanket?)
“I don’t know. Where’d you leave it?” (Be responsible for the things you care about)
“If I knew the answer to that I wouldn’t be asking.” (Help me find it. Don’t just lie there)
“Don’t be a smarty. I’m trying to help.” (Be good or you’re on your own).
“I’ve looked everywhere here. I can’t find it.” (I really need my blankie!)
“Maybe it was stolen.” (Dismissal of my “blanket need” as childish)
“Why does this always happen?” (Self-pity as a ploy to get assistance)
“If you loved your mother less, this wouldn’t be happening.” (Use of Fruedian analysis to get me off-track)
“Don’t try to divert me. If I don’t find my Woolx soon I’ll freeze to death.” (I can’t survive without my blankie!)
“Are you warm?” (A woman’s intuition is about to strike).
“Yes, I feel quite toasty.” (It’s as if I have my blanket around me!)
“Try turning on a light. Maybe you wore it to bed last night.”
Silence. Followed by humiliation slipping down the stairs to the kitchen.
An early morning light brings the Woolx mystery to closure.
Morning’s don’t always go this way. What does go this way, however, is the need to put on Woolx to start the day. Like throwing a bone to the dog (ritual), turning on the kitchen radio (ritual), or warming up the car before tearing out to drive to work (ritual), the Woolx fashion that is so popular around this house marks the ritual upon which all other rituals are hinged. A day without Woolx is a day when nothing gets done. You can bet your last donut on that.