Eeny, Meany, Donut-Ho

This place baffles me. It’s a domestic-style operation with the tiniest frier you have ever seen making mini-donuts. Then they add sugar and spice.

It’s magic. It’s miniscule. It makes a mountain of money. It’s Meaney’s Mini Donuts on Siesta-bleeding Key.

 

Overview: Donuts are deep-fried batter. Donut batter is fat, flour and sugar.

Having deep-fried your batter, add more sugar with a glaze or by direct sprinkling.

Carefree about your health? Then go ahead. Fill your deep-fried batter-objects with cream or custard ie: more fat and sugar.

User Tip: Eat donuts whilst they are fresh.

Let’s review: Fat tastes great. Sugar tastes great. Everything deep-fried tastes great.

Is there any way to screw this up?

Redneckery

They are everywhere.

Almost everywhere. At gas stations. On the road. Eating in restaurants. At work. About the only place you will not find them is in a bookstore or a library.

Rednecks. Around here the sub-species is Cracker, a sort of Redneck Lite who adds beachgoing to their range.

You will know the Cracker by the usual Redneck pointers.Observe the following:

Car: He drives an American brand pickup-truck. Poorly built, over priced and bought on a liar loan amortized over three times its useful life, this vehicle is the Cracker’s suit of armor. It makes him bigger, taller, more powerful and harder than he could ever hope to be without it.

Dress: Look for cheap clothing, ill-fitted. The theme varies from quasi-cowboy to pool-boy. Mostly the image is that of under-educated dolthood, with a job to match.

Dip: Real Crackers consider a fistful of fermented tobacco sophisticated. Drooling and expectorating is their way of marking territory, in the same way dogs urinate. Mouth, throat and/or tongue cancer emphasize your dedication.

Cuisine: Burgers. Ribs. Cheap fried protein of any kind. Grits.

Beverage: Iced tea during the day. What’s laughingly thought of as “beer” in these parts – mass-market lagers – for all other occasions.

Entertainments: Big trucks. NASCAR. Bullying other road users. Anything to do with mud.

One word to encapsulate the Cracker: Thoughtlessness. To call it anti-intellectualism is to do anti-intellectuals a disservice. The Redneck’s universe extends only as far as competence; a step up to self-observance or quiet contemplation of abstracts is a step much too far. Worse is that this heedless one-dimensional outlook appears deliberate, as if stupidity were the goal.

In that, the Cracker succeeds.

Bang

I bought the gun for an entirely different reason.

Even in my snoozy Gulf-side town, there is a bad neighbourhood problem. Naturally, that’s where The Boss’s office and warehouse resides, because it’s cheap, and he’s cheap. Late at night, after the clients are dropped off, we chauffeurs still have work to do. The car must be refueled, cleaned and prepared for the next adventure. It’s a complete pain in the butt after a long day, I can tell you, a chore made worse by the lowlife pondscum hanging around the place.

Soon after I started driving, it was clear that these very late night stops at even well-lit gas stations were the points of greatest risk. The ones closest to our place are the worst of the worst, and yet we are obliged to use them. They are populated with a mix of the drugged, the drunk, the indigent, the violent and the criminal. The individuals who worry me most are the drunk mental cases, who are likely schizophrenic. Who knows what the voices will tell them to do next.

I have discovered that the single best determinant for a bad neighbourhood is adult men riding bicycles at night. Think about it: it is 3:00 am, when normal people are at home in bed. If men, and not just one or two, are riding around fully awake at that time of the night, what the heck are they doing?

No good, says I. Which is why I bought, and carry, a gun, in case one of those motherfuckers decides to try something.