This happened a few days ago at a Michigan grocery store called Meijer. A lady was pushing an overflowing cart out of the store when a big box of donuts, perched like a crown jewel atop the pile of billowy grocery bags suddenly slid and took the long fall, spilling onto the parking lot. There were donuts everywhere. Dozens. Well, one dozen, to be specific.
I was so broken-hearted to see such a loss of pastry that I knew I had to do something. Though we were total strangers. I felt a connection with my fellow parking lot sojourner. In my empathy, I said to her “I’m so sorry that happened…” and before I could finish with an encouraging word, maybe something about how they probably tasted terrible anyway, she shouted “that’s life — it happens” and proceeded to push her cart over the spilled donuts, as if to take them out of their misery. The wheels cut and made jelly ooze in every direction as white frosting was crushed into the asphalt. If pastries could scream, I’d still be sitting alone in a dark room right now. You know, to recover.
Since then, I keep imagining different conversations she might have had with her husband when she got home with almost all of the groceries.
“Where are the donuts?”
“Fell? Fell where?”
“In the parking lot.”
“Yes, of MEIJER. Frank! Where… where are you going?”
“I’m going to Meijer!”
“Didja brush ‘em off?”
“I left ‘em”
“You left the donuts in the parking lot?”
“What was I supposed to do, Frank? Pick ‘em up and give ‘em as gifts?”
“‘Course, that’s still nicer than what you got me for Christmas, Frank: a big box of nothing.”
“You said you weren’t mad about that anymore!”
“Well I’m mad now.”
“Hey, sweetie! Oh! Dunkin’ Donuts! I thought you were gonna get donuts from the Meijer bakery!”
“Well, Frank, I happened to remember how much you love Dunkin’ D’s.”
“I did the job. I did it.”
“Some bald guy apologized for making my donuts fall down.”
“Yeah, I think he had some sort of magical power that enabled him to push donuts to the ground, like some kind of… oh… what’s the word?”
“Right! Sorcerer. And he was wearing an orange cloak.”
“You mean orange coat?”
“Whatever. Anyway, what’s left of the donuts is in my pockets now.”