If You Give Daddy a Donut

With apologies to Laura Joffe Numeroff

If you give daddy a donut, he’ll ask for a napkin to go with it. For daddy can be quite messy while eating donuts. Especially while driving.

So you’ll give him a napkin to wipe the crumbling glaze from his lips. Only, while he’s eating his donut, he’ll suddenly have an idea for a really neat blog post. So he’ll ask you for a pen so he can write the idea down before he forgets it. It’s a lesson he learned recently and wants to put into practice.

So you’ll search the glove box for a pen and come up empty handed. He’ll shoot you a nervous glance and ask everyone to check in the crevices of the seats. To search the floors. The cubby holders. The contraption that sits between the seats crammed with forgotten Happy Meal toys, used Kleenex, and gas receipts dating back to the first Bush administration.

When no one can find a pen, he’ll feign panic. “One must always have a pen,” he’ll mockingly exclaim, and you’ll groan a bit, for you know what he’ll say next. “In case the aliens come, and say, ‘You are the Chosen One. The One who will deliver the message; a message of hope for those who choose to hear it, and a warning for those who do not.'” He’ll use his best Charlton-Heston-as-Moses voice, and everyone will laugh this time. Because they’re in the mood for a good laugh. The wee one will say “How dare you forget your pen!?”

So he’ll reply, “How dare you, sir!” in his best gravely Harrison Ford voice. And then he’ll suddenly remember that Harrison Ford used a similar line in The Fugitive, and how he hasn’t seen that movie in a long time and needs to pick it up on DVD. So he’ll swing into Best Buy to see if they have it in stock.

Only he’ll get sidetracked by the New Releases in the music section of the store. There’s the new Guns N’ Roses! For only $12! He’ll recall that he was never much of a GNR fan, even back in the 80s when Axl and the gang were all the rage. But then he’ll remember that Rolling Stone gave Chinese Democracy four stars. So he’ll pick it up as well. A bit of the old and a bit of the new, he’ll think. ‘Tis the season.

So he’ll torque you off by taking out The Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas CD once everyone is back in the van and putting in his new treasure. At one point while listening to the CD, he’ll think how Axl sounds a lot like Geoff Tate on a couple tracks. And that’ll freak him out, because Axl Rose sucks ass compared to Geoff Tate. Just to confirm his suspicions, he’ll mention this fact to you, and you’ll roll your eyes. You’d rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than this tripe. But he won’t be bothered by your nay-saying. He’ll return to scanning through the tracks, wearing a goofy grin, lost in his own little hair-band-populated world.

You’ll snap him out of it by suggesting he keep his eyes on the road. And he’ll look up just in time to see brake lights ahead, through the snow, and coming up fast. He’ll slam on the brakes and marvel that “anti-lock brakes are the best invention known to man!” You’ll busy yourself picking up all the shit that slid off your lap and into the floorboard.

Then your cell phone will ring and it’ll be his sister, wondering how much longer she’s going to have to wait at Lowe’s before he shows up to pick out this year’s Christmas tree. He’d almost forgotten about that. She works there and lets us use her discount. Sweeeet! So he’ll head that way, cursing the increased traffic and countless red lights and stupid drivers. Once there, he’ll unload the family and try not to freeze his ass off as he goes through the motions of this most festive of traditions. You’ll pick a scotch pine with a bad case of scoliosis. Everyone will cheer. He’ll swipe his debit card and then strain to lift the bastard onto the roof and tie it down with twine.

Then he’ll remember that Rock Band isn’t working anymore. The teenager was trying to imitate Mike Portnoy by standing up during a particularly intense drum part and broke the bass pedal. And the new Guitar Hero disc has a crack in it, which shouldn’t be happening since the game is fairly new. So he’ll head back to Best Buy and stand in line at customer service for nearly half an hour while some manager with bleached-blonde hair gets the runaround trying to get an RA number. He’ll eventually get some store credit, so he’ll pick up another Guitar Hero game, with the nifty new guitar this time.

Later that evening, once the tree is up and sparkling, he’ll try out the nifty new guitar, only it isn’t so nifty because the whammy bar doesn’t work. Typical. So he’ll put in The Fugitive. Only no one will watch it with him. Beefcake does catch a bit of the ending, but the teenager falls asleep, so for the most part he watches the suspense unfold all by himself. And this will depress him. As will the snow, and the lack of a whammy bar. And how nothing seems to be as much fun as he’d hoped. So he’ll wander into the kitchen to heat up a donut.

And if daddy eats a donut, he’ll want a napkin to go with it . . .

[photo credit]

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20 thoughts on “If You Give Daddy a Donut

  1. This was so great! I read those books to my kids all the time, I wonder if they’ll even notice if I slip this story into the roatation? Awesome job!

  2. Nicely done. When I was teaching an adult ESL (English as a Second Language) I taught my students to write their own stories following the model of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, which we had practiced and learned to read. They loved it and we got some really elaborate stories from different cultures.

    It sounds like you had a busy day, full of chores and errands and everyone was too exhausted or bored with the whole thing to participate all the way through, leaving you to watch the movie alone. Think of it this way, that might be a good thing. Just imagine them sitting down to watch the movie with you and talking throughout it. That would be worse than watching alone.

  3. Ha ha ha! ‘If you give a pig a pancake’ was a favorite when my nephews were little. Except they still wanted to give a pig a pancake. And I’ll bet your kids will still want to give you a doughnut!

  4. Go to Best Buy on December 9th and buy the documentary movie, “Man on Wire” which comes out on that day. Then, buy a box of donuts, go back home and have the whole family watch it. They’ll be writing about it one day on their blogs, as you have here of musicians and movies that made an impression. That movie and donuts are as close to a religious experience as I get, my friend.

  5. I’m not at all familiar with the “If You Give…” books, but now I’m going to have to look them up. Besides, what’s not to love about mooses or muffins?

    I love the way this post rambles around – it’s a lot how my mind works too. I’ll confess that until this, I knew nothing of Mike Portnoy, but now I’m going to have to check out some Dream Theatre ‘cuz that guy is awesome!

    I thought the same about Axl sounding a bit like Geoff from Queensryche – honestly, I did! But the new GNR album is a big letdown to me.

    By the way, you need to check out the new X Christmas. It’s not Trans-Siberian, but it’ll put a little zing in your holiday music!

    And why is it that anytime you need a pen in the car, there’s never one available? I’m often plagued by that problem too! I have figured out a nifty solution for not having a pen when I’m out at the store – I just snap a photo of whatever item I want to look up later with my cell phone cam. Hey, I’m an old dog, but I’m trying to learn a few new tricks…

  6. You really just made my day!

    I keep a “fat litte notebook” in my purse for those crazy ideas that just pop in my head….

    Have a great day!!!!

  7. God, those days – when the mind just veers this way and that and up and down. Maybe it was a sugar induced mania.

    I have become slightly addicted to donuts. If your like me, you would be surprised to hear that Australians have perfected the donut.

  8. Nice use of the second person in order to tell a great holiday tale!

    Axl Rose as Geoff Tate? I don’t know if I could stand it. Tate’s voice is incredible, and Axl is just…a mess.

    Peace – D

  9. This is why I ALWAYS have a few pens in the car, along with seat belt cutter and a window smasher.

    Don’t buy the Chinese Democracy album because Rolling Stone gave it four stars. Make up your own mind. Sounds like it’s a good thing that you gave up your Rolling Stone subscription. Now you might buy albums that you actually like.

  10. Ideas are like smoke. The longer you wait to collect them, the more it has dissipated.

    Same exact thing happened with our Rock Band bass pedal. They should make those things teenager proof.

  11. I now want a doughnut. I do not have a doughnut available to eat. I am vexed.

    I need to go out and buy a doughnut but I have to stay in the house until a new fridge gets here.

    Curses.

  12. This was fun to read. We loved the “If you give…” books when my kids were younger.

    I have quite a few pens in my car. You are welcome to them if you would like.

    BTW, if you had taken TSO out of my CD player in MY car you would have been in real trouble.

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