On May 8, 2024

The Movie Diary: As sweet as can be


I don’t know when it first happened, but one day many years ago, after indulging in a donut, I experienced some odd discomfort in my chest; it was a burning sensation that felt like I had burped up acid. I didn’t initially attribute the feeling to the donut, but after having it occur multiple times, I started to see the correlation. 

Knowing me, I probably asked around or did some research and determined that I had a burgeoning case of heartburn (also known as acid reflux). Soon after, I discovered that Tums antacid tablets were my new best friend. Anytime I felt the heartburn building, I chewed up a Tums for instant relief. 

I guess some people would continue to eat the same way, but the idea that my body was producing something so painful made me adjust my food intake. As such, over the last 25 years I have opted for fruit and cereal over fried, doughy pastries for breakfast. I definitely miss those tasty donuts and croissants, but not enough to endure the pain associated with acid reflux. 

Last week, I was standing in the kitchen at my office prepping my breakfast. I generally eat a cup and a half of oats mixed with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and raisins. I cook it for 2 minutes, stir, and then cook it another 2 minutes. It’s healthy, filling, and delicious. 

On this occasion, however, I noticed a box of Dunkin’ Donuts on the counter. Out of curiosity, I opened the lid to survey the contents. There before me sat an assortment of donuts glowing like a treasure chest full of jewels. Every color of the visible spectrum was displayed as either icing or sprinkles, making the whole box look like a canvas of multi-colored modern art.

I stared at the opened box of delicacies and then glanced over at my bland looking porridge in dismay. There was no competition when it came to presentation; the donuts were much more alluring. I then leaned over and took a deep breath. The smell of baked goods and sugar enveloped my senses. 

I started to imagine what the glazed donut with maple frosting and multi-colored sprinkles would taste like. It had been decades since I bit into a pastry of this caliber.   

The odd thing was that I had been in the presence of donuts hundreds of times prior to this and never once had an urge to indulge. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The pain from the acid reflux had made me loathe donuts, especially Dunkin’ Donuts! 

I used to scoff at donuts and secretly shade anyone who was weak enough to eat one. And yet, there I was, suddenly aching for a bite of that textured dough and sugar.

I looked around the corner. No one was there. If I was going to do this, it had to be secret. I’m known to be an extremely healthy eater, so I didn’t want my credibility compromised with my work colleagues.

I reached down and grabbed the colorful donut. That’s odd, I thought. It’s lighter than I remember. I then smelled it, again being overwhelmed by the essence of sugar wafting through my nose.

I took a deep breath, opened my mouth, and bit into the round confection. I chewed for a moment and then stopped. I couldn’t believe how intense the sugar rush was. My mouth lit up like a flavor amusement park. A few more chews and a swallow and I was done.

I held the donut out in front of me for another moment considering whether to indulge again, before popping open the trash can and throwing it in. One bite was enough to remind me that the human body wasn’t built to eat something so devoid of nutritional value.

I grabbed my fruit-infused oatmeal and went back to my office. After it cooled a bit, I took a bite. I was immediately overwhelmed by how bland it tasted. A bite from that donut had actually recalibrated my mouth’s sense of sweetness. 

I haven’t been tempted to eat another donut since, but after watching this week’s feature, “Unfrosted,” I am considering having my first Pop Tart in decades. 

“Unfrosted” is the brainchild of Jerry Seinfeld, who co-wrote, directed and starred in the film. Along for the ride is one of the most star-studded casts assembled for a film in years. Together the group tells the fictional story of how the Kellogg’s and Post cereal companies went to war over the introduction of a new breakfast treat: the Pop Tart.

This one is taking a hit commercially, but I found it alluring. There’s more silliness and sophistication packed into this 90-minute long film than I’ve seen in a while. In fact, the jokes came so fast, I was confident I missed a third of them. 

Check this one out to make your own decision, but I found “Unfrosted” to be a lighthearted and fun romp well worth the investment of time. 

A syrupy “B” for “Unfrosted,” now available to stream on Netflix. 

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at moviediary@att.net.

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