It’s that time of year again! This coming Friday, June 5th, will be National Donut Day, the greatest non-federal holiday that Hallmark wishes they had invented. Imagine an entire line of National Donut Day greeting cards, with a saccharine message inside and an edible sugary breading on the outside. If Hallmark could spin it expertly enough, they could rake in billions and afford to ditch some of their fake calendar-padding celebrations.
The original version of National Donut Day was part of a Salvation Army tradition with roots dating back to World War I. In later years it came to be observed in limited social circles beyond their reach. I never heard of it myself until the internet discovered it and decided it should be a thing. Sometimes the internet knows what it’s doing.
Unlike that dreaded International Talk Like a Pirate Day, its origins are cloaked with historical respectability, so if you heap scorn upon it, you’re like Ebenezer Scrooge and tonight you shall be visited by three spirits of National Donut Day who probably have trouble finding spectral raiment in their size.
Today at work some of my peers were putting their heads together and trying to plan for the coming occasion. The general feeling is someone ought to bring in donuts, or else we’re all hypocrites and we’re gonna starve that day. I left early this afternoon and missed the ending of that impromptu brainstorming session, but I trust I’ll go in Thursday morning and they’ll have a game plan all drawn up. Hopefully it won’t involve them all looking at me and smiling and expecting large contributions from me and only me, because that would be unfair and mean, and I promise I will have revenge by bringing in the most terrible factory-made corporate donuts known to man.
Everyone who’s allowed and willing to eat sugar has a favorite donut shop. Dunkin Donuts is the most well-known corporate option, but if your town is large enough, Dunkin has stiff competition. I remember a short time twenty years ago when Krispy Kreme had storefronts ’round these parts during a time when Dunkin’s fortunes were on the downswing. The two chains make the same kind of food, but they’re completely different results. Today the scales have tipped the other way; Krispy Kremes are available only through select groceries and gas stations, while the power of Dunkin has been reborn like a creme-filled phoenix rising from powdered-sugar ashes.
Folks here in Indy have a few spots they’ll recommend as the quote-unquote “best”, but the correct answer is Long’s Bakery. They’re located in a scary neighborhood across the street from a strip club, and someone got shot at the gas station next door the other week, but Long’s has such rich, dreamy pastries that it’s worth gambling on the odds that you’ll pull onto their crowded backstreet on one of those lucky days when a sheriff’s car is stationed outside to ensure everyone can snack without fear. Best of all, the turf inside Long’s is a neutral zone. Once your in the door and the smell of rising dough hits your nose, you’ll know you’re safe, if only for a little while. Because donuts.
If you’re not into ordinary average glazed yeast donuts, we’re now in an age where craft donuts are more of a thing than ever. This fad has been slow in coming to Indianapolis, but we have a food truck and a couple of shops that cater to this steadily trending eventuality, rife with gourmet ingredients and strange combinations and freaky names. I’d love to tell you more about the ones here in Indy, but they’re all far away from where I live and too many blocks away from where I work, so I can’t just drop in before I clock in. They set up shop most inconveniently just to spite me, I’m sure.
In conclusion: National Donut Day! The first Friday of every June! Including this Friday! Donuts donuts donuts donuts donuts!
Mark it on your calendar app, tell your friends and enemies, think up some donut carols to sing, wear your favorite donut-stained shirt, and don’t forget to skip your eggs or granola or coffee that morning because your belly will need all as much space as possible for donut storage.