Friday, July 4, 2008

A Three-Donut Vacation: XVIII. BonBon's Story

Powdered Sugar Excesses Like This Led to the Breakup
Of the Beignet Separatist Movement

BonBon's Michelin's Fraternity House at Bundt University

Written 2-3 July, 2008

A Three-Donut Vacation

XVIII: BonBon’s Story

“But where does BonBon fit in?” I asked.

“I am your guide,” sniffed BonBon. “I am here to lead you to your objective.”

“Ladies,” said Mordecai, “Mssr. Bonbon, I take your leave. I have other deliveries. In fact, I have a most special delivery for my lovely wife Kacy.”

“Is it true UPS delivers three times a day?” asked Sweetie with seeming innocence.

“Only domestic,” grinned Mordecai, and just like that he was gone.

“You will follow me,” said BonBon. “but first I must tell you my story.”

“Do we have time?” I asked.

“But of course,” said BonBon.

“Besides, you’re in need of filler so you can spin things out while you figure out how to write yourself out of the plot hole you’ve gotten yourself into,” said Sweetie demurely.

“I’ll just write a timed lock onto the door we have to break into,” I said.

BonBon straightened his beret. “And now here’s my story. I am a scion of a prominent family. My clan has a long and proud tradition of rating the finest of food establishments. We write the fairest and least biased reviews in all of Europe.”

“Then your last name is…” I began.

“Michelin, of course” he said. “I was the oldest son, and great expectations were placed on me. I had always been interested in the pastry sciences, but it was at university that I discovered my passion—that miracle of wheat and yeast and sugar and hot oil, the beignet. Beignets consumed me. I could see nothing else. I could eat nothing else.

“And so, beignets became my life. I earned a Ph.D. in donopaleontology at Bundt University. My dissertation on beignet evolution was much applauded. I made the strongest of cases for the Theory of Imperial Pastry Selection.” BonBon stroked his mustaches. “I returned home in triumph. At Michelin, I was given the much sought-after position of Chief of Pastry Reviews. My life was good. I had a wife, two children, a comfortable position. And then it happened.

“Out of nowhere some, some, some American nobody named Sweetie published a paper on natural donut selection. Her reasoning was sublime, her ideas devastating to my career. I was ruined in academia. Soon my pastry reviews fell into disfavor with my father. And then one was rejected. Rejected!

“I went to my father in a fury. I pushed past his receptionist and burst into his office, and I saw it all. I saw the empty box on his desk, encrusted in dried sugar. I saw the crumbs on his bloated lips, which, as I raged at him, he wiped them again and again with a Krispy Kreme napkin.

“’How could you DO this?’ I shouted. ‘You have sold us out! And for what? For... for puffy American confections! Have you no respect for our culinary traditions?’

“I shamed him. He lowered his eyes and told me he was powerless over his addiction. ‘I meant to have only a small taste,’ he told me. ‘but I found myself wanting another and another. I now have a dozen a day habit. A baker’s dozen a day habit. How could I let you savage my beloved donuts?’ And then he grew angry. ‘One star, BonBon? A single star? One miserable star for such a delight of heaven? Compared to four stars for your accursed beignets? And worst of all, you have let an American make a fool of you. You are no son of mine!’

“And so I was cast out of my family. My wife left me and filed for divorce on the ground of irreconcileable pastry tastebud differences. I was not allowed to see my children lest I smuggle pastries to them. My life was ruined. Ruined!

“What choice had I? What choice did I have but to turn to the Beignet Separatist Movement? I went to them supplicant. I told them I would do anything they wanted. I would take the least rewarding, the most dangerous job. And so I was sent here, to the headquarters of the Krispy Kreme government, to work undercover, to sabotage the donuts. And sabotage I did.

“I took a position in the maintenance department; it gave me the opportunity to tinker with the hole punchers. Soon one in ten donuts was being made without a hole. Then one in seven!

“By now every Krispy Kreme donut in the world would have been but a beignet in disguise. But I was betrayed. The Beignet Separatist Movement, my adopted family, turned against itself. The movement separated into powdered sugar zealots and raspberry filling fanatics, and the in-fighting was bitter. They had no time for a lone patriot deep within the bowels of the Krispy Kreme establishment. My reports were not acknowledged. My stipend checks failed to arrive. The beignets they sent me, when they remembered to do so, were stale. Soon I had no money. I was a bitter man. I hated my university with its silly domed cakes. I hated my father for his weaknesses. And most of all I hated the American Sweetie, who had set me on my road to ruin. I swore if I ever found her I would make her rue the day she rejected the beignet in favor of the lesser pastries!

“At my lowest point I considered suicide by donut.

 “It would have been my statement to my family. ‘Michelin Heir Found Dead with Donuts.’ But at my blackest hour I received a message from Torley Linden. Would I help in the fight against the TSA? But of course I would. And so, here I am. My name is BonBon Michelin, mesdames, and I’m at your service!”

No comments: