Written 26 June, 2008
A Three-Donut Vacation
XIII: In the Belly of the Donut Beast
The secret headquarters of the TSA seemed normal enough at first. I mean, for a secret world headquarters. It was, we would soon find out, far from ordinary.
We were in a lobby. The walls were festooned with posters bearing messages like “Know Your Enemy! No. 7: The Bagel” and “Friends Don’t Let Friends Dunk and Drive.” A reception desk sat empty before us. A phone rang.
Without thinking, I picked it up. “TSA,” I said. “All power to the donut. How can I help you?”
“This is Agent 99 at the Ahern regional telehub. I’m declaring an emergency. We’re running low on glazed.”
I covered the mouthpiece with my size 20 hand. Or, rather, I tried. It wasn’t big enough for the job, so I went into Appearance and cranked my hand size up to 40.
“Ssst!” I said to Sweetie. “They’re low on glazed at Ahern!”
Sweetie grabbed the phone. “Why are you annoying us? Don’t you know it’s past five? Everyone has gone home. Take your donut crisis elsewhere!” She slammed down the receiver.
“That takes care of that,” she said. “Gosh, your hands are big.”
We crept down a long corridor, passing countless locked doors. “Bo-ring!” I whispered.
“Ya think?” admonished Sweetie. “Look at the names!”
I began to check out the nameplates on the doors:
Honksfordonuts Johnson, Vice-President, Delivery Systems, Donut-and-Missile Division
Krullerme Happy, Group Leader, Donut Disinformation Bureau
Rollin Indough, Specialist in Sugar and Cyanide
Sprinkles Savvy, Pastry Weapons
“These seem like weird names for a donut shop,” I said. “Or for that matter, for TSA headquarters. They seem a strange blend of the two. Donuts and national security. National security and donuts. Say, are those footsteps?”
“Night watchman!” whispered Sweetie. She stepped to the nearest door and passed a plastic key card under a scanner. The door opened and we ducked inside and closed the door, barely daring to breathe. The steps grew louder, paused just outside the door, and then receded.
Sweetie opened the door, stuck her head out, read the sign, and closed the door. “This is the Forensic Donut Division,” she said wistfully. “but there’s no time to look around.”
I followed Sweetie into the corridor, but even at a glimpse I could see the place was amazing. There were donut hurling machines that had become gummed up because some fool had filled them with glazed rather than cake donuts, donut bombs that had prematurely exploded, and a white powdered donut with one bite taken from it.
Department of Donut Hole Science
Bureau of Glazes and Powders
Board of Icing Tinting, Colors Not Found in Nature Work Group, Hue McFinder, Director
“I like this one,” said Sweetie. “Frying Pan Maintenance Gallery; Happy Dish Slaves Since 2007.”
“Yeah, I said. “Iscrub Uscrub, supervisor.”
We passed a billboard.
“Memos,” Sweetie said. “Look at the titles!”
“’Donuts and Airport Security Devices,’” I read. “’Mutually exclusive?’”
“’Adjusting Your Sniffing Device to Detect Nutmeg and Mace,’” read Sweetie. “And look! ‘The Importance of Teleport Tom in Donut History.’”
“’What To Do When You Find Squashed Donuts in a Passenger’s Shoes,’” I read. “Looks like the TSA is taking over Krispy Kreme.”
“Oh, you silly! You have it all backwards!” said Sweetie.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Krispy Kreme has taken over the TSA. In fact, the United States Government is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Krispy Kreme Korporation.”