On Being “That Guy” At The Donut Shop

Long'sBakery

Everybody knows “That Guy”.  That Guy is the one who does some of the most irritating things.  Like The one who sprints into his left turn through your right of way as soon as the traffic light turns green.  Or the one who doesn’t believe that the no talking and texting rule in the movie theater applies to him.  Well last weekend I became That Guy.

My Mrs. and I went to church on Saturday evening.  We Catholics differ from our Protestant brothers and sisters by being actually required to go to church each Sunday.  Not “it’s a really good idea and you really ought to go” required but “there are four masses at this parish this weekend and others nearby so if you don’t get your butt into a pew at some point this weekend, well you know where the confessionals are” kind of required.

Anyhow Saturday evening is a great way to accommodate the twin desires of 1) get to church the way we are supposed  to and 2) sleep late on Sunday morning.  Who says there’s not a crazy genius to Catholicism?

The weather was decent for the first time in weeks so we decided to go out to eat after church.  As we got to the car after dinner, the word “donuts” was used.  I do not feel the need to go into detail about which of us was actually first to use the D Word.  Let’s just acknowledge that the D Word was used and move on.

“Let’s go to Long’s for some donuts” was the actual phrase.  This was a highly loaded and tightly packed suggestion.  First, there is a dwindling number of days before the start of Lent (during which it is a common thing to give up certain pleasures like sweets. Second, it was a suggestion to drive to the other side of town to a little old bakery in a declining neighborhood for some of their delicious wares.

“I’m in” was the reply of the second of us, which came within nanoseconds of the  suggestion by the first.  It was a pleasant drive along Pothole Avenue, until we took a right on Crater Boulevard.   We dodged most of the bigger pocks in the pavement caused by the recent subzero weather and finally approached the bakery.

I knew this place well, having lived nearby during my law school days.  It was probably a pretty normal place for a bakery in the mid 1950s when it opened.  The neighborhood was a little down at the heels by the early 1980s and has progressed to a little scary now.  But their delectable glazed donuts are not run-of-the-mill fare and were deeply embedded in the “I want” lobes of our brains.  Besides, everyone needs to live a little dangerously every now and then.  It was nice to see the police car parked right out front (insert cops and donuts joke here) so we felt a little better.  Not a bad thing, especially for a shop that is still “cash only.”

Trouble came as soon as we walked in.  “This is all we have left” said the clerk as she gestured to two partial trays of donuts in the case.  We got lucky when the couple ahead of us satisfied themselves with a couple of the few brownies that were also there.

The selection was not what we really came for but when the only choices are chocolate-iced bavarian creams and cream filled carmel-iced long johns, well that’s what you get.  “I guess we will do six of each” was our order.  After all, we had the rest of the weekend ahead of us and a weekend with donuts is always better than a weekend without, especially when there is a lazy Sunday morning ahead of us.  I am pretty sure this is not the kind of “planning ahead” that my mother used to lecture me about, but . . . yeah.

Moments later the next people walked in and the clerk gave the same warning that “this is all we have left.”  It was then that I realized that I was “That Guy”.  I did not take the last of the donuts, but I was getting the last dozen of anything that anybody was going to take out of there for the rest of the night.

I forked over my cash under the watchful eye of the off-duty policeman sitting quietly behind the counter, who was doubtless looking forward to an early donut sellout so that he could go home.  The lady behind the counter handed me our (yes, our) dozen donuts in return.

Suddenly I felt as though I was carrying a big black bag marked “$1 million, cash” as we walked out of the front door (with its bulletproof glass) and made the fifteen yard dash for the car.   Did those two or three sets of people walking towards the entrance have any idea that their only chance at donuts was about to make a dash for the suburbs?  Clearly not because they continued walking into the store, surely not ready for the disappointing news they were about to receive.

Perhaps I did not become That Guy completely.  I suppose that someone used to being That Guy would have yelled something like “We got the last dozen, sucks to be you!” as we strode out the door.  But becoming That Guy and Crime Statistic in the same trip would have been too much.  A Sunday headline of “West Side Stabbing Over Donuts” was not something that we were interested in exploring further.

Could we have gotten by on a half dozen instead of a dozen?  Perhaps, but not as luxuriously.  I got to be That Guy and lived to tell the tale.  Did our donuts taste better than we expected they would?  Oh yeah.

31 thoughts on “On Being “That Guy” At The Donut Shop

  1. By taking a dozen, you were only helping them out. With you buying them, they didn’t go to waste. Had you left them, they could have. You were truly looking at the bigger picture here and doing something completely selfless.

    Doughnut shops like this are a quickly dying breed. Long ago when I worked in the modest town of Sikeston, there was Houchins Doughnuts. They were renowned for selling you a doughnut that was still hot as it had just emerged from the deep fryer. Sweet, moist, and with just a hint of crispiness.

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  2. I was “that guy” recently at Dunkin. I got the last two maple covered Long Johns, and was walking out as a woman came in and asked for maple Long Johns. I almost ran to the vehicle! (My luck usually runs to being the one following “that guy”…)

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  3. Not bad, but the preceding two dozen doughnuts were actually purchased by Protestants while you were at mass 🙂

    I think we’ve reached peak microbrewery, but are now entering the rise of the artisan doughnut. Couple of new stores in town here, yum:

    http://www.donutmonster.ca/

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    • Protestants binging on donuts while we were at church – the biggest laugh of the day! 🙂

      I am too curmudgeonly to accept artisan donuts without a fight. BTW, Tim Horton is coming to my area and I intend to give them a try.

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  4. Lansing has a local convenience store chain that has their own bakery. Tim Horton’s is not bad, but I’d rather have a Quality Dairy cinnamon roll any day. (and usually do)

    North of here in Clare MI, the downtown bakery was going out of business a few years ago, so the city police force got together and bought it. They renamed it “Cops & Doughnuts” and have totally embraced the stereotypes. It has been successful enough that they have added several new locations, which they refer to as precincts.

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  5. My stepdaughter worked briefly at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Dirty secret #1: the donuts are not made in store, but are shipped frozen and then heated up and iced. Dirty secret #2: they throw away whatever didn’t sell at the end of the day. My stepdaughter used to bring home giant tubs of donuts that I’d take to my church and set out.

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  6. Go easy on yourself, J.P. — instead of being That Guy, it’s possible the *real* headline to accompany this story is, “Local man saves neighbor from diabetes by removing donut temptation.” Yes, that’s right: You’re a hero! Now, don’t you feel better, knowing that you helped save a life? 🙂

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    • If you put it that way, it would be awfully selfish of me to sit safely in my house when I have the power to save others. After all, every donut I consume is a donut that some other hapless soul will not. My obituary can be about my great sacrifice. “He ate 4 dozen donuts weekly because he cared for his fellow man.” I like it!

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      • Exactly! It was the same narrative I used after the Great Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Binge of 2016, and I did take some comfort in knowing I had saved maybe a dozen children from coming into contact with peanuts. It’s all in how you frame it, right? 🙂

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  7. What I don’t get is that you said the cop car was parked in front … do the cops drive Mazda MX3’s in your town? I like donuts, but I’m not sure I’ve been in a donut shop for at least 10 – 15 years, though we have quite a few in our town. Last donut I bought was at Whole Foods, of all places.

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    • I found the photo online which must have been taken on a no-cop day/time.

      Whole Foods and donuts do not go together in my mind. WF is, for me, about the least convenient location of any place to buy food so I have been in one maybe three times in my life. Would donuts be like $6 each there? 🙂

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      • I rarely shop at Whole Foods myself; the location and convenience for us is OK, but I just don’t think it’s that great … neither quality nor selection, not to mention price … and I mostly shop at alternative “natural/gourmet” markets already. But the donut was good and since I don’t get donuts often, the price seemed reasonable for a pastry. I know the longstanding stereotype of donut shops and cops, but in our town it seems the donut shops are hangouts for the homeless and I usually drive, ride or walk right by. By the way, I consider myself a stickler for spelling and usage, and prefer donut to doughnut; it just looks right.

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