Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Three-Donut Vacation: XVII. Intelligence Service Debriefing with Agent Sweetie

Written on 3 July, 2008

A Three-Donut Vacation

XVII: Intelligence Service Debriefing With Agent Sweetie

Dear reader
: How this highly classified document managed to slip out of our super secret headquarters to be leaked to the press and generate fantastic publicity for us with no redactions except a few icing smears, we have no idea. We publish this excerpt out of sequence, as it contains material that explains the interaction between Sweetie and BonBon Michelin in upcoming episodes of this increasingly ever more bizarre story line.

Q: Now that we’ve accounted for all the bodies and we have your expense report for several thousand bullets, ninja throwing scones, a replacement katana, one wrecked Gaxis golf cart getaway vehicle, and ten designer gowns, let’s move on to intel on your co–conspirators—but first I have to ask you, Agent Sweetie, what was with the tension between you and BonBon Michelin? He really seemed steamed at you when you met in the Museum of Donut History.

A: Ha! Not so much steamed as half-baked, if you know what I mean. You see, it all goes back to our shared interest in the paleodonolithic sciences. Prehistoric donut history is a fascinating though controversial topic.

ProtoPastries! HA! Jurassic Frying Oil! Crullerbites! When I wrote my now famous* dissertation on the theory of pastry evolution (* now famous because I just mentioned it here in interview which I will leak to a famous blogger—oh, did I just say that out loud?) the idea of natural taste selection was considered radical by proponents of the accepted Theory of Imperial Selection—so called because it proposed the divine right of kings as the driving force behind pastry achievement. In their desperate battles for confectionary supremacy, royalty hired the best (meaning French, of course) pastry chefs. The need for survival in this donut-eat-donut world led to more and more specialized pastry achievements.

This theory seemed at first to have some merit, but it was flawed because self-interested backers could imagine no higher evolution of pastry than the beignet. The beignet was the center of the pastry universe, around which the lowly scones, crumpets, donuts, and muffins must orbit. To propose anything else was culinary heresy.

It’s rumored that when I won the Nobel Prize for outstanding achievement in the culinary sciences, consumption, and criticism, the major proponent of the original theory, one BonBon Michelin, a black sheep of the royalty gastronomic Michelin family of France, went quite stark raving mad. He lost his filling, so to speak, and ran off to join some insane beignet separatist movement, seeking redemption and archeological evidence to restore the beignet to the top of the pastry food chain.

Considering the smaller filling capacity of beignets—only 22cc’s of jelly as opposed to more than 60cc for the new American superdonut—the imperial selectionist theory lead to an evolutionary dead end. Darwinian donut theory proves every culture had its own standard for selection of the tastiest. Only extreme manipulation by a corporate overlord like Krispy Kreme can warp this natural taste selection process.

Q: Oh, Sweetie, I’m so fascinated! What are you studying now?

A: (Sweetie polishes her Nobel medal casually, then checks to make sure her outfit matches.) Well, for a while I’ve been fascinated by donut astronomics. Dark filling matter. Dry, arid scones: can they support jelly? Is the so-called donut hole really a donut, or should we call those diminutive pastries donutoids? The Big Rise theory. Of course, the discovery of binary muffins was a fascinating topic; I have some of my grad students working on that—but I have to say my favorite intellectual pursuit at the moment is the development of icing string theory.

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