GateHouse — Oh hey, great, I’ll bet you, America’s elitist class of health-obsessed spin-class-overfilling radish-snacking plutocrats and people who purchase “cereal bars” because they might taste a very little like the Pop-Tarts which are sitting on THE ADJACENT SHELF waiting for you to inevitably come crawling back, I suppose now you and your skinny jeans are going to HATE this new idea that just walked into my newsroom, the one where Krispy Kreme donuts are stuffed with Cheerwine-flavored filling. I’ll bet you are going to HATE the idea of glorfing down, Kobayashi-style, liquefied warmed-up donut/goo pluffed to the bursting point with synthetic materials that are designed to taste a little like a cut-rate carbonated beverage. Well SORRY FOR NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU FRESH-MARKET-FREQUENTING SHOE-HATERS, with your homegrown vegetables and biodegradable carts and ability to walk a half-mile without stopping to suffer a few moments of legally defined death. Here’s some frogurt that’ll pair nicely with your contemptuous judging, Horse Spirit.
For the rest of us true-blue, red-blooded and other-color-referencing Real Americans, allow me to celebrate the fact that in this time of great unease, conflict and tension, a fragile peace has been forged between two of the greatest forces in all of North Carolina: Your friends at Krispy Kreme and your enemies at Cheerwine, which is a bargain beverage, though not the kind sprayed indiscriminately at Insane Clown Posse concerts (shout-out to my homes for the Juggalo-fact check, y’all are some straight-up marketing-identification ninjas).
And it has provided, in short, a food in which Cheerwine soda — whose name includes at least two inaccuracies — is injected into a donut and topped with chocolate and sprinkles. USA! USA!
“Cheerwine has been a popular flavor with food for a long time,” Cheerwine president Cliff Ritchie objectively told the Raleigh newspaper. “This was a natural fit. It is like North Carolina in a doughnut.” (Actually North Carolina’s official donut is filled with wet clumps of tobacco and shredded bits of Duke jerseys, but there’s nothing wrong with second place.)
I am writing about this because there is currently a box of exotic Cheerwine-flavored donuts making its way through the newsroom, brought in by a very generous reporter and aspiring cardiac patient named Josh, and it is basically like Josh has brought in a ray of sunshine and is firing it at people’s faces right now.
Yet there is a pronounced differential in the way people are responding to Josh’s medically unadvisable generosity. For instance, two colleagues are now mowing down the hockey-puck-looking clumps of processed sugar as though the continued operation of their circulatory system depended on their smooshing them through their throats in under 14 seconds, while another reporter — who is frankly a straight-up hippie and we all know it — is looking on as though both gentlemen are consuming entire live squirrels head-first. When it comes to the consumption of Cheerwine-flavored donuts, apparently there is no middle ground.
Related, sort of
“They taste surprisingly like Cheerwine,” Josh is saying, which, contextually speaking, is a pretty banging testimonial. “I’m not a big fan of cream-filled donuts in general. It’s a little bit of an adventure for me. I had to give it a shot.” When we have to write Josh’s obituary early next week, I’m going to suggest, “Novelty Donuts Were Available — What Was He Supposed To Do, Not Give Them A Shot?”
But hey, don’t take my word for it: You can find online photos of this unnatural hybrid, which, in the image I’ve been staring at for 15 minutes, appears to be a pastry which is leaking a singularly unpleasant discharge, much like, say, a pinkish version of Slimer. It is not, despite what you might suspect, something that triggers the well-evolved impulses in your brain which say, “This is something you are going to want to purchase in groups of 12.” Unless you were planning on taking them to an Insane Clown Posse concert.