And, so we stood, watching Mary Sela cut into a glazed doughnut. The doughnut was still in the box from the little doughnut shop from around the corner – The Donut Hole. Using a plastic knife in a rigorous sawing motion, she promptly removed an expertly cut half a doughnut. She placed it on a paper towel and walked back to her cubicle. We stood there wondering if anyone else would courage up to taking the other half of the doughnut.
Jack Eden decided he didn’t want to ponder the idea. He yelled, “Mary!” As she turned around with a “yeah”, he questioned her with a “what the hell was that?” Her eyebrows scrunched down into an inquisitive “what?” He approached her and asked her why she only took half a doughnut. She quietly responded that she didn’t want a whole doughnut. “So, you figure someone wants your discarded half of a doughnut?” he grilled. She stumbled on her words, looked over his shoulder at the rest of us, and in a passive voice “I didn’t want to waste it.” Jack didn’t care what her best intentions were, nor did any of us think we would happily dine on half-a-doughnut still in the box from the little doughnut shop from around the corner – The Donut Hole.
First off, we didn’t get free doughnuts very often, especially those bought and paid for by our management staff. Secondly, we weren’t exactly concerned about our pride when it came to gorging ourselves on free food. So to witness such an odd event, we found ourselves scratching our heads. Even after Jack interrogated Mary. And wouldn’t you know, that half-a-doughnut sat in the box even after all the others were gone. Pillaging free food still had its requirements and it didn’t involve scraps. We weren’t heathens. We weren’t vagabonds. We weren’t animals. We were highly educated morons that sat in tiny cubicles all day, shifting through emails, answering phone calls from whiny brokers, and ‘servicing’ our clients – although no one liked that term – it just sounded perverse.
The half-a-doughnut was still in the box when everyone had gone home for the day and the lights were turned out. It sat in the box, from the doughnut shop around the corner – The Donut Hole, on the green table, in the green kitchen, through the night. The green table, in the green kitchen was also known as the table where discarded food went to disappear – if someone had leftovers or excess amounts of Halloween candy, it was placed on the green table. Within a few days (sometimes only hours), it would be gone. It defied explanation. The phenomenon wasted hours of useful production time as we discussed the theories and probabilities of how the food disappeared. Maybe the Dining Hall manager suspected contraband and had it disposed of? Or, maybe the Health Relations Monitor saw a potential food poisoning event and quickly bagged and tagged it for analysis. Maybe, the table actually had a trap door where the food would fall through a maze of tunnels and passage ways and fall right into the incinerator? In the end, we suspected it was simply eaten. We hoped the cleaning crew just took care of it each night. Yet, this was disproven by the half-a-doughnut incident. The following day, the half-a-doughnut still sat in the box on the green table, in the green kitchen as it was left the day before. Most of us stared at it as we got our morning coffee and threw our lunches into the refrigerator.
Then, Joey Brena, getting her third cup of coffee that morning, noticed something! The box, from the donut shop from around the corner – The Donut Hole, was open and more importantly, empty. The half-a-donut was gone! Joey raced over to Rick Whitmore’s cubicle to inform him that the half-a-doughnut was now missing. The box from the doughnut shop from around the corner was still on the table, including crumbs and smears of chocolate icing. But more importantly, the half-a-doughnut was gone! Rick Whitmore proceeded to walk to Jack Eden’s cube and inform him of the news. Before we could even check our voice mails or log in to our emails, we gathered in the green kitchen, near the green table. We stared at the table, at the box.
“You think Mary came back to get the other half?” Sandy Johnson hypothesized.
“That’s just ridiculous!” Jack rebutted.
The thing is, someone had to take the half-a-doughnut. Someone decided it looked appetizing. It obviously wasn’t thrown away, or why was the box still on the green table, in the green kitchen?
Jack whispered to Joey Brena he would check on Mary and see if the half-a-doughnut was on her desk or if her sweater revealed the crumbs of evidence. Mary Sela, a nice fifty-something lady, typically kept her self clean and smelled like cheap Walgreen’s perfume. But sometimes she had the unfortunate character of clumsiness. Like the time a meatball escape her fork and rolled down a heavenly white blouse – leaving a Morse code of bright red spaghetti sauce in its wake.
Joe Eden, gone only a couple minutes, returned to inform us that, “She’s not there. Her computer isn’t even booted up.” We all just looked at each other. We continued to debate the disappearance of the half-a-doughnut. What happened to the half-a-doughnut? Worse yet, did someone eat it?