Friday, March 27, 2009

What would you do for a donut?

It was a Saturday night and I made a brief mention of having donuts Sunday morning, the following day. Usually Sunday's are for my "world-famous-po-dunk-no-two-are-the-same" pancakes, but after a date with Huell Howser which took us to Stan's Donuts in Westwood, I had a hankering for the fried little nugget. Donuts to me are what smack is to a junkie. Offer it up at any time, whether I am fit or not and I will eat it. My self discipline is non-existent when I sense a donut at work, at home, or wherever I may be.

So the plan was set for a quick morning trip to the local donut shop.

Sunday morning, and I look up donut shops on my rectangle of glass (iPhone). The typical Winchell's and Dunkin Donuts pop up, but I wanted something original, something "mom-and-pop." A shop that had flavor and character and was "manned" by a sleepy old guy or perky Asian woman who barely speaks English. I wanted authentic, not uniforms and definitely not a chain.

So I found it. It was a donut shop and bakery about 2.6 miles from our house. Turn right, veer right, stay left, u-turn here and presto you're there in about 5 minutes' times. Simple enough if you drive, but the 2.6 miles became a walk, an outing for the family. Baby in stroller? Check. Luke, Cole, you ready? Yep. Mama, you have everything? I think so. Good. We're off on foot and we tear up the first 1.5 miles and make the right. Suddenly the landscape changed. Gone were the beautiful old Craftsman's and in to view came chewed-up sidewalks, trash, bars on windows, and graffiti. We were certainly out of our element, but this is what we do. We venture to places we may not be comfortable with and I bitch about why we are doing this and my lame wife says "It's all about the adventure!" I say "But there's graffiti on the damn sidewalk! Who tags the sidewalk?" It's my usual barking and while I was continuing to wonder where we were, the boys were loving the beat up old cars and random bits of trash and because Luke was on his bike, he was loving the undulation of the sidewalks. Cole, on the other hand, is a junk collector and would marvel at broken, abandoned things or hubcaps or whatever.

The 2.6 miles by foot, with 2 boys, and a munchkin in a stroller is, in reality, a 2-hour walk.

Eventually we made our way to this supposed bakery-donut shop and I was a bit surprised at what we found. It did have the token middle-aged Asian woman and the random filthy guy downing a cup of Joe, but the posters for the sex pills and various Mexican bands playing around town took the prize. All over the windows these posters were plastered, but in the end I didn't care. I was the junkie with a singular focus of a real soft, delicate sprinkled donut.

The boys ordered their favorites and my wife got her apple fritter and then we set off back to home. At some point we had to stop to sample the delicate fruit (donut) and did so in front of the local library. Here was a family of 5 chowing on donuts in the wrong part of town, but we didn't care. We continued on to home taking in the local character that included a sweet 1970's station wagon and a bike shop that had more bars than a jail.

Eventually we made it back and while the adventure, as my wife calls it, was to a part of town we would never normally go to, it was just that... an adventure. This is what we do, and this is what I did for a donut. As they say "the journey is the destination."