Friday, August 12, 2016

Olympic Donuts -With a Twang!



Friends,
It occurs to me that some words sound better when spoken in a specific accent. I’m not talking about words that are primarily used by people with that accent such as bespoke (London) or mate and sheila (Australia). I’m talking about rather ordinary words enhancing their appeal through an accent. Take the word loitering. Unremarkable, unless you use a Cockney accent. Or tonight’s meteor outburst, the perseids. The word sounds awkward, unless… you use the Queen’s English. Of course there are other words which don’t benefit from such a treatment. Take the word Olympics or the word donuts. Neither is improved by the use of an accent. They are, however, improved if you combine them in John Belushi’s classic (yet timely) Saturday Night Live skit: “little chocolate donuts”. As you make your way up to grab a donut, think of accent/word combinations you’d like to share.
Happy Friday!


Friday, August 5, 2016

Donuts for Propeller Heads



Friends,
When was the last time you were on a propeller plane? Personally, I had to go deep into the memory vault. It had been so long, in fact, I figured commercial airlines no longer used them. So, you can imagine my surprise this week when I boarded one. Looking out my propeller-side window I wondered what damage those man-sized weedwhacker asps were capable of inflicting as their droning noise gradually became the sole focus of everyone's attention. So loud, coherent thought became impossible, let alone a friendly conversation with your neighbor. With a cruising altitude of 100 feet (or at least it felt that way), the Dash 8-300 has the grace of a penguin walking, a giraffe swimming or a turkey flying. And loud, did I mention it was loud? The short hop across state lines was done in no time, but my eardrums took much longer to recover. Still, I survived and made it l back with a story, and with time to share some sweet pastries with you. There's a dozen dunkin' donuts waiting in the usual spot, so come get your weekend spirit off to a flying start.
Happy Friday!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Donuts in Need of a Home



Friends,
Walking down the streets of Chicago this week I saw a young man holding a cardboard box that read “begging and ashamed”. Now, I usually feel bad for folks who’ve resorted to panhandling -even if I sometimes wonder about their need. I wonder what it would be like to live on the street and imagine walking in their shoes -telling myself I would surely make the best of such circumstances. But when I saw this kid, something was different. Maybe it was his age (not much older than my own kids). Maybe it was just his demeanor (slouched so as to avoid eye contact). Whatever the reason, I started thinking he was someone’s kid. How must his parents feel? Did they know their son was in this situation? Were they unwilling or unable to help him? Then… I imagined this scruffy young man as my son. Bam! I was struck to the core. What if that was my kind, innocent, loving son driven by who-knows-what circumstances to beg? Ragged, tired and dirty on some strange sidewalk. Begging. That simple notion created a void inside me so big it overwhelmed me. So long as it was me that I imagined in his shoes, I could handle it. But as soon as I saw him as my son my empathy went through the roof. His situation became intolerable -no, please, not my son!
I wonder what would happen if every one of us imagined those in need not as our tough selves, but as the vulnerable child they once were. Our child, full of dreams and brimming with potential. If we did, I think the world would be a slightly better place. A place brimming with smiles and donuts. Speaking of which, I’ve got a dozen ready to be had. So, if you’re in the office today, please come grab a sweet treat. If not, don’t worry. Dirk Kitteridge is sure to give any leftover donuts to the homeless (as he has on so many occasions already).
Happy Friday!
Photo: Sweet treat shop window display taken yesterday morning in Chicago