Checkout convenience -- for whom? 


Once the fried-dough embodiment of hot and fresh, Krispy Kreme has transformed its original glazed doughnut into a new frozen beverage for the summer. The chain introduced a new line of frozen drinks Wednesday, including Frozen Original Kreme – a drinkable version of the company's signature doughnut `.`
— money.cnn.com, July 21, 2004

click to enlarge 072904_glazedoverjpg

ACT ONE
(The scene is a doughnut shop in the wee hours of the morning. Behind the counter is NICK, the lone employee still on shift. He is wearing a white uniform and is busy polishing glasses. A customer, DARRYL, is slumped face-down on the counter. Several beverage glasses rest near his head, all empty save for a grainy, caramel-colored residue. The melancholy strains of "La Vie en Rose" waft through the shop's P.A. Unaware of them, DARRYL slurs his own countermelody.)

DARRYL: Sugar sugar … aww, honey honey … (He sobs softly.)

(NICK puts down the glass he is polishing and touches DARRYL gently on the arm.)

NICK: Why do you drink so much, my friend?

DARRYL: "Mnot lookin" for a head shrinker, Nick.

NICK: I know, but …

(DARRYL looks up.)

DARRYL: Fer cryin' out loud, Nick, lea' me alone! An' fix me up with another tallboy. (He replaces his head on the counter.)

NICK: Darryl, you've already put away seven.

DARRYL: (Sings into countertop.) You are my candy girl … and you got me mmmrrumph …

NICK: Darryl? Your wife called tonight.

(DARRYL stops singing but does not look up.)

NICK: She wanted to know where you were. She said the baby's got that ear infection again, and she needed you to take the car to Walgreens and pick up some medicine. God help me, Darryl, but I lied to her. I told her I didn't know where you were. I just couldn't stand to see you get behind the wheel all hopped up on liquid glucose. I won't cover for you like that again, Darryl. Tell me you won't make me do it.

DARRYL: 'Snice story, Nick.

NICK: Darryl, I …

DARRYL: (Slamming his fist on the counter.) GODDAMN it, Nick, willya jus' shut up and do what I ask ya fer once? Y'know what I need, now glaze me! GLAZE ME!

(NICK shakes his head and turns away from DARRYL. He places a fresh glass next to the sink, retrieves a doughnut from the rack and grasps it with both hands. As if wringing out a sponge, he squeezes the doughnut tightly over the glass, filling the receptacle to its rim with gooey liquid. When he is done, he looks skyward and whispers.)

NICK: Damn you, Krispy Kreme R&D department. Wasn't making the most addictive doughnuts on Earth good enough?

ACT TWO
(A highway underpass, several months later. It is the dead of night. DARRYL stands in a puddle of water, looking tired and unshaven. Cheap eye shadow is smeared on his face, and out-of-control love handles spill from the waistband of the spangled hot pants he wears.)

DARRYL: (To passing cars.) Date? Wanna date?

(A beat-up sedan slows to a stop.)

DRIVER: Hey, hot cheeks, how's about a little … egad!

DARRYL: Hiya, big spender. Lookin' for some company?

DRIVER: (Recovering his composure.) Well, um, maybe. How much is it gonna set me back?

DARRYL: It's 50 for a straight party, 100 for around-the-world. An extra 20 and you can lick the granulated sugar off my bicuspids while we do it.

DRIVER: That's pretty steep, babycakes. What say we just eliminate the middleman and set you up with one of these bad boys?

(The DRIVER reaches into the car's cup holder and produces a Frozen Original Kreme, which he waves under DARRYL's face in a cruel taunt.)

DARRYL: (Trancelike) That's … not … the deal …

(DARRYL instinctively grasps at the frothy beverage, which the DRIVER snatches away at the last possible moment.)

DRIVER: I thought so. Now cut the crap and get in this car.

(DARRYL shoots the DRIVER a look of equal parts contempt and ineffable need, then scrambles around to the passenger side of the vehicle and climbs in. Animalistic slurping sounds are heard as they speed off into the dark.)

ACT THREE
(We are inside a medical facility's cinderblock meeting room. Folding chairs are set out in a circle. They are occupied by seven people in gray jumpsuits … and an eighth, a woman, who wears a white nurse's uniform and holds a clipboard. One of the patients is speaking.)

PATIENT: … and that's when I looked down and realized that the gun was in my hand, ready to go off. As long as I live, I'll never forget the terrified face of that poor girl in the drive-up window. I thought, "My God, what have I become?" So I hit the gas pedal and didn't let up until I was six miles out of town, free from my old life of temptation. Since that day, I've haven't touched a one of those awful drinks. (She smiles gently.) My new hubby and I call them "Satan's Smoothies."

(She pats the hand of the patient to her right.)

NURSE: Wonderful, Mary Ellen. We're all so proud of you. And now I'd like to introduce a new face we'll be seeing each week in group. Everybody, this is Darryl.
(Welcoming smiles all around.)

NURSE: Darryl, why don't you share your story with the rest of us?

DARRYL: (Uncertain.) Oh, boy. (Pause.) To tell you the truth, I still can't believe I ended up here. Just yesterday, I was a young guy with everything to live for. Great wife, great kid, career on the up. Sure, I'd go for the occasional doughnut, but who didn't? This was Krispy Kreme we were talking about, for God's sake. But when they announced that frozen-drink menu, I was like a man possessed. I couldn't make it home at night without stopping in for a belt. Then it was two. Then three. Then I just stopped coming home at all. When the smoke cleared, I was living in a moldy old flophouse, hustling Belgian tourists for bevvie money and trying to stay clear of the cops.

NURSE: And then what happened?

DARRYL: Well, you know, it's the weirdest thing.

NURSE: Go ahead, Darryl. We've heard everything in here.

DARRYL: One afternoon, I was skulking around behind a paint store. I had just fought a bum for his Frozen Original Kreme – and won, of course. I put the straw to my lips and got ready to suck down that sweet, sweet nectar. And even though I had given up everything for these drinks – I mean, I lost my entire life to them – I was suddenly hit by a thought I had never had before.

NURSE: Which was?

DARRYL: "Hey! These things taste like shit!" That's when I knew I had to get myself into a program.

(The NURSE brushes away a tear.)

DARRYL: My name is Darryl. And I am a Kreme-aholic.

ALL: Welcome, Darryl.


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