The Existential Dilemma of a Donut Hole

Filed in Archive, Blog by on July 20, 2013 0 Comments


Donut holes should not exist. But this photo proves they do. And they have a price. Donut holes have even been immortalised in song:  “Oh, his jelly roll is so nice and hot / Never fails to touch the spot … When I eat his donuts / All I leave is the HOLE … I can’t do without my kitchen man” (from Kitchen Man, composed in 1929).

So not only does the donut hole exist, it has sex appeal and probably a rating on Klout too (THE standard for global influence).

Proving that the existence (or not) of donut holes is not one of your lame zen dilemmas like: ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’ Oh puh-lease, just flap your fingers against the bottom of your palm to solve that one.

To be perfectly frank, for years I have credited donut holes with being the ultimate pin-ups for postmodernism’s  ‘Problem of the Real’. (Eat your heart out, Jean-Francois Lyotard and Jean Baudrillard.)

Then a couple of Saturday nights ago I ordered a plate of donuts for dessert at the Kent Hotel in North Carlton. (Eat your heart out, Homer Simpson.) They were delectable. Just one problem – and it was a big one – they were actually donut holes like the ones pictured here (but better).

So now I have that sinking feeling that I have been deluded all these years. I should have realised from hours of watching those donut-making machines that rings of goo with congenital holes drop straight into the hot oil. No one actually punches a hole in them. Just like no one really bends bananas – they’re born that way.

And if I had just thought about it a bit longer, I would have realised that even if there were people in backrooms all over the planet carving holes in billions of donuts, they would have to come out in a sort of pulley shape, not a little round ball.

So I confess to feeling foolish about spending too much time contemplating the existential dilemma of a donut hole. But I still like the song Kitchen Man, especially Bessie Smith’s version.

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