Written 19-26 June, 2008
A Three-Donut Vacation
XII. Hot Glazed Now
“What would you like more than anything in the world?” Sweetie asked me.
I looked soulfully into her eyes.
“Not that,” she laughed. “I mean to eat.”
That was easy. “A donut,” I said.
“Just a donut?”
“No, a—a hot glazed donut. Mmm. Glazed donuts! A box of a dozen hot glazed donuts.”
“Pull over here,” Sweetie commanded.
Obediently, Top Cop pulled her freebie Gaxis golf cart getaway vehicle to the curb.
“See that sign?” asked Sweetie.
I squinted. “Let me zoom my camera… OMG! ‘Hot Donuts Now!’”
“Yes,” said Sweetie. “It’s the first-ever virtual Krispy Kreme ® franchise.”
“And so we’re going to load up on donuts and then go find the secret world headquarters of the TSA and break in?” I asked dreamily.
“Not exactly,” Sweetie said. “TSA headquarters is six floors below street level. Directly below the Krispy Kreme.”
“That’s sacrilege!” I said. “Has our federal government no sense of donut sanctity?”
“You need ask such a question?” Sweetie asked.
“You guys be sure to bring me back a cruller,” said Top Cop. “I’d be drummed out of the Fraternal Order of Virtual Police if I missed an opportunity like this!”
“We will,” promised Sweetie. “You just be sure to be here when we get back!”
“Okay, okay,” said Top Cop. “It won’t be like last time. I promise.”
“I’ll have two chocolate cake and one vanilla cake and four powdered and one apple cinnamon and one brown sugar maple and two crullers for our friend Michel—I mean Top Cop—and two blueberry filled and three lemon filled and four raspberry filled and one custard-filled and one with sprinkles and a dozen glazed,” I said to the counterman. “What’ll you have, Sweetie? I mean, Fashionista Bandit?”
And then Sweetie said the magic words: “Sweet donutty goodness.”
Without a word the donut man lifted a section of the counter, allowing us to pass into the inner sanctum of donut heaven. He strode to the walk-in cooler and opened the door. Sweetie stepped inside and motioned to me to join her.
I looked longingly at the automatic machinery in the store. It was rolling donuts six at a time down a shiny stainless steel ramp, dunking the dough in hot oil, turning and rolling the half-fried nuggets of, I have to say it, sweet donutty goodness, and, finally, running them under a nozzle to douse them with superheated supersweet sugar. “What about my donuts?” I asked, looking wistfully at the package I’d left at the counter.
“Hssst!” said Sweetie, and I scurried after her.
The donut man slammed the cooler door and Sweetie glanced at me. I typed in the number I, dear reader, entrusted you with while we were on vacation and which you were recently so kind as to read back to me. Well, thanks to Tycho Beresford, anyway. He was the only one who actually responded. We began to move downward.
“Secret elevator,” Sweetie said. “Did you notice the store had a health department rating of 71?”
“Dunkin’ Donuts has to be bribing the Department of Virtual Health,” I said. “Krispy Kreme is kicking their ass. The place looked clean enough to me.”
The elevator clanked and hummed as we descended. And of course, it being a Second Life elevator, we bounced around inside it like two crazy chickens.
“How deep IS this secret headquarters place?” I asked. Why, oh why hadn’t I grabbed a chocolate iced as I ran through the kitchen?
“Deep” Sweetie said. “Below zero meters elevation.”
“Below zero meters!” I said. “Is that possible?”
“Anything is possible in Second Life,” said Sweetie. “Haven’t you learned that yet?”
“I suppose,” I said, remembering the time we had flown to 50,000,000 meters.
“Especially if you learn how to use the negative elevation simulator exploit,” she said. “Shush. No talking from here on.”
“But what are we here for? What’s our mission? Besides being fashionably attired while breaking and entering, I mean.”
The cooler ground to a stop and Sweetie opened the cooler door. “Follow me,” she said, “into the center of all evil in the Metaverse.”