Sunday, August 31, 2008

By Request

If you happened to listen to NPR this morning - or last Sunday - they've been talking about doughnuts. They even had someone who wrote the history of the doughnut or something doing a live online chat. Seemed like a sign from above.

"Ode to the Krispy Kreme"

(Or, how Southerns know way too much about where and when to get food that's bad for you.)

A while back I regaled a few willing readers with a tale of woe about how Krystal no longer makes vidalia onion rings. At the end I mentioned that one of Nashville's Krystals has a particularly onerous drive-through and how one night some friends and I almost became ensnared in said drive-through while trying to find an open doughnut store.

Confused? Intrigued? Hungry? Well, one very kind reader requested the rest of that story and I thought it only polite to oblige. (That'll teach her!)

So picture, if you will, a Saturday night and two friends - let's call them "HE" and "SHE"- and I went to a late movie in Green Hills (a neighborhood on the west side of Nashville). We got out of the movie around 11:00, and as we were leaving the theater, HE said he wanted to stop at the Donut Den to pick up some doughnuts for the next morning.

The "Den" is SUPPOSED to be open until midnight. But, as we found out from my last trip to Krystal, sometimes the universe disappoints. And sure enough, the Donut Den was CLOSED. (When I tell this story to people from Nashville they always scrunch their brow, become distracted, and start to mumble "but why would the Donut Den be closed?!?")

So, we pull out of the "Den" and onto the street. HE says that now that he can't get doughnuts, he really, really wants doughnuts. SHE and I say that now we're hungry too because of all the doughnut talk. (And no, the movie was not a late night showing of Laser Floyd). Someone - it was during the summer, I believe, so it was probably me - reminded us all that Krystal was up the street just a little further. Being a valid option when it's late and you're hungry for something to clog your arteries, we tried that. When we got to Krystal the line for the drive-through was almost out to the street. Decisions had to be made. And the rest of the conversation went something like this:

SHE: That's a long line. I don't want to sit in that line.
HE: Well, I'm not going in.
ME: No. Me neither. But we don't want to get stuck in that line - you get halfway and there's that retaining wall and then you're trapped. We could be there forever.
SHE: I can't get stuck in that line. I'll go insane.
HE: And I really wanted doughnuts. Krystal doesn't have doughnuts.
SHE: Maybe the guy at Donut Den was just taking the trash out or having a smoke and locked the front door until he got back. Maybe we should try again.
ME: But if we do we lose our place in line.

[silence as we all take a moment to ponder the options]

ME: Excellent. I'll call information. [dials 411]
OPERATOR: Nextel 411, this is Yolanda, what listing?
ME: Nashville, Tennessee. The Donut Den on Hillsboro Pike.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Here's your number....

[ring... ring... ring... ring... ring... ring... ring...]

ME: No answer.
SHE: Hey, the line moved.
HE: Damn it. I really want doughnuts. And now Krystal sounds disgusting.
SHE: Well, we knew that already.
ME: What about Krispy Kreme?
HE: It's not open.
SHE and ME: It's open 24 hours!
HE: Only the Nolensville Pike (on the south side) store is open 24-hours, but it's closed for construction - they're rebuilding it.

[Drive-through line inches forward]

ME: Rebuilding! But it was so cool - all retro with the Formica and chrome counter. They're keeping all of that, aren't they?
HE: No. It was all only held together with 50 years of grease. I heard the fire marshall said to level it.
SHE: What about the Elliston Place store (downtown-ish)?
HE: No. It closes at 11:00.
SHE and ME: How the hell do you know that!?!
HE: I have a friend that lives in Bellevue (The west side. Waaaay on the west side. Like Memphis.) whose claim to fame is how one night at 10 'till 11 he made it from Bellevue to the Elliston Place Krispy Kreme before it closed AND didn't get stopped by the police. He's very proud...
ME: I'm gonna call, just to make sure.
HE: I'm telling you - it's CLOSED.
SHE: Hey we're moving again - and we're getting closer to the wall. Hurry up.
ME: Well maybe since the other store is under renovation they're open later.
HE: I'm telling you. They close at 11:00.
ME: Let's just find out. What else are we going to do?
SHE: We're gonna get stuck in the damn drive-through if you don't hurry up.
ME: [dials 411]
OPERATOR: Nextel 411, this is Yolanda, what listing?
ME: [covering the phone and whispering loudly] Sonofabitch! It's the same woman!
HE: [starts giggling so hard he's about to pee himself]
SHE: Who cares! Ask her for the number. There are only three cars ahead of us before the wall.
ME: [speaking in a lower tone to disguise voice] Nashville, Tennessee. Krispy Kreme... On Elliston Place....
YOLANDA: Uh-huh... Thank you.... Here's your number...

[ring... ring... ring... ring... ring...]

ME: No answer.
HE: Really?! You don't say...
SHE: Two cars. TWO CARS!
ME: Maybe the Krispy Kreme on Nolensville is open again.
HE: Did I not just say that it was closed?
ME: Fine. But there has to be another Krispy Kreme in the greater Nashville area.
HE: Where?
ME: I don't know. Kentucky? But it doesn't matter though because I don't want to call information - it will be that same woman again. You call.
HE: It probably wasn't the same woman. How do you know if it was the same woman?
ME: Her name was Yolanda. What are the chances?
HE: True. But she won't know who you are and she probably gets a lot of doughnut-related calls this time of nigh ---
ME: Alright, alright! [dials 411]
OPERATOR: Nextel 411, this is Yolanda, what listing?
ME: [covers the phone again] You've GOT to be kidding me!!
HE: [giggling AND snorting]
SHE: THIS IS NOT FUNNY! We've already been sitting here for how long?? I don't even like Krystal. I HATE Krystal. I DO NOT want to be trapped in the Krystal drive-through. Do you understand me?!?

[Keeps ranting while I talk to information]

ME: [full of shame, not even bothering to disguise voice] uhhh, yeah. Nashville, Tennessee. Krispy Kreme on Nolensville Pike.
YOLANDA: Y'all are in serious need of some doughnuts.
ME: I KNOW. I'm so embarrassed. I thought I was calling some big national Nextel call center.
YOLANDA: No girl, I'm in Nashville. The only one here tonight.
ME: That's hilarious. We're in Green Hills and were going to go to Donut Den, but it was closed.
YOLANDA: [probably scrunching her brow] It was CLOSED?!?
ME: I KNOW. So we're in the Krystal drive-through as back-up, but we don't really want Krystal, plus you know, there's that wall, and we don't want to get stuck.
YOLANDA: Oh yeah. I know what you're talking about. And all those drunks in line. Takes forever.
HE: [uncontrollable giggling and snorting]
ME: [covers phone] Just wait here a second. [uncovers phone] I KNOW - so, then we were going to go to the Krispy Kreme on Elliston -
YOLANDA: Well, I thought it closed at 11:00, but I didn't know if I should tell you that or not.
ME: It's okay. Someone else in the car knew it would be too but I was hoping that since the one on Nolen --
ME: [covers the phone] No they won't. Just a second! [uncovers the phone] I'm sorry about that, Yolanda... I was just thinking that since the Nolensville store is under construction that maybe Elliston would be open later.

[car behind us honks]

HE: [no noise coming from him, just convulsions of laughter and small tears streaming down his cheeks]
YOLANDA: Honey - the construction is finished! They reopened Friday at midnight.

[car behind us honks again]

SHE: I'M GOING. TO KILL YOU. [does the mom-style awkward backwards reach from the driver's seat into the back to try to smack me and/or take my phone]
ME: [dodging and weaving] Nolensville reopened last night! Thanks Yolanda!

[SHE immediately whips the car out of the drive-through and back onto the road]

YOLANDA: Y'all have fun! Bye!

We drive over to the south side of Nashville to the newly-built Krispy Kreme. The drive-through line is out to the street.

SHE: Dear God, not again...
HE: [not fully recovered, speaking through gasps as he tries to catch his breath] There... Is... A... Krystal... Down the road... A little... [reverts to fits of laughter]
SHE: So help me...

This line is moving much faster though, so we wait. And as we wait you can see the people in line ahead of us pointing at the inside of the new store. No doubt talking about what it looked like for so long. The "Hot Donuts Now" sign lights up while we're waiting. People from inside their cars can be seen raising their arms and cheering. A car horn honks in enthusiasm.

When we get to the speaker box back of the store, there's a banner over it that says "Welcome Home." We order. We get our doughnuts. We start to eat them before we're done paying. Before we get halfway back home we're well on our way to a blissful sugar coma.

HE: You know what you should name your Chinese kid?

[puzzled pause as we try to figure out what he's talking about]

ME: What?
HE: You. You were talking at dinner about how you plan to one day adopt a little girl from China.
ME: Yeah...
HE: Well, I know what you should name her.
ME: Please don't say Krystal.
HE: [snort] No.
ME: Krispy Kreme???
SHE: Oh, you're appalled at Krystal, but you offer up Krispy Kreme as a viable option.
HE: Nooooo.

[Long pause again, then...]



Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

YOU are too frickin' hilarious! And that is some serious jones-ing for a donut!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love those donuts! And yeah, Yolanda is definitely the name~