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It Is Not a Doughnut · 25 February 2012


I hate to complain, but one of my students keeps picking on me. She teases me about a simple mistake I made when commenting about her eating choice. I called her pretzel a doughnut. Another time, I called it a bagel. Or maybe I called her bagel a pretzel. At any rate, I mistook her bready snack for a different bready snack, and I hear about it all the time. Sometimes, my student points out not only what she is eating, but even what she is not. I think she (and others) just likes teasing me.


Admittedly, I deserve the ribbing. Or at least I am used to it. After all, people who have known me for all of two seconds see the need to pick on me for some odd reason. So much so that I even wrote a whole piece on that subject (see Charlie Brown). Really, I am not complaining. I just find it amusing.


The amusing aspect of the whole pretzel incident is that I should have known better. I should have realized that I could not identify a small piece of food from across the room. At least not just with my eyes. After all, I can smell a doughnut a mile away, even if it is wrapped up tightly in cellophane behind a closed door. (I can hear my wife screaming, “Liar!”, but I cannot help it sometimes. Hyperbole and exaggeration are like my bread and butter when it comes to writing. Or maybe like butter and butter since they are the same.) I should have known by the lack of sugary aroma that the morsel being eaten by my student was not a doughnut.


(I know I am setting myself up for certain ridicule by writing about mistaken food. For if any of my students or any of my friends read this, I will forever be asked to identify bagels, pretzels, and doughnuts at twenty paces. Or any distance. So even though I know it is futile, I still ask you dear readers – both real or imaginary – please do not to share this with anybody who knows me lest I suffer ridicule more than I could bear.)


When it comes right down to it, I should keep my comments about food to myself. Or at least I should not identify food at more than twenty paces. It just gives people more ammunition with which to tease me. I can take it and I obviously like the attention (or I would not write about my foibles and follies), but I should not make teasing me so easy. Then again, there are so many different ways to pick on me, giving people one more way will not matter. It will just be difficult to not laugh when my classes bring in pretzels and ask me if they can eat their doughnuts in front of me.


Contrary to popular opinion (or at least the opinion of one student), I do know the difference between bagels, pretzels, and doughnuts. Doughnuts are those sugary confections that make my mouth water. Doughnuts are what I bring to Saturday throwers’ practice during track and field season. Doughnuts are the bane of my existence in more ways than one. And now, I have more than one reason to both love and hate them.


In truth, I do not really hate doughnuts. Or bagels or pretzels for that matter. Still, I should know that doughnuts are easily identified from bagels and pretzels, even at a distance. But while I am sure I will not hear the end of my misidentification of food, I really am not complaining. At least not too much.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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