05 February 2008

Resistance is futile

Allow me to explain my working environment. I sit in what is referred to as a bull-pen cubicle. (Charming description, isn’t it? It just further reinforces my corporate cattle identity.) What this means is that there is one gigantic square cube and a person is stationed in each corner. What this also means is that you really need to like your co-workers.

Fortunately for me, I do. This is the third desk I’ve had during my ten year run here and I actually chose it the last time I moved. So I’m pretty well situated and content with my neighbor. Until today. I’ve now decided he is evil.

The man brought in two dozen paczki. Our filing cabinets are made up of really wide print drawers and only stand about three feet high so we butted them up against each other to create a makeshift table to roll out prints and hold meetings and such. Its also where the box of paczki are stationed today.

And he got the good ones. No grocery store imposters, no wimpy little jelly donughts that are mascareding as paczki. No,no, these came from a bakery in town that, although run by non-Polish bakers, would give the shops in Hamtramck a run for their money. These things are gigantic. And full of jelly and probably average at least a thousand calories a piece.

I wish I could say I didn’t eat one but you know, I’m Polish, it’s a requirement. Its amusing to me that so many people who stopped by to get one griped and complained about how fattening they are but still proceeded to snatch one and flee like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter. I guess I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Yes, I know they aren’t good for you but its once a year. Eat the damn thing, enjoy it and move on. (Of course, I’m not a big fan of donughts. I only like paczki and cider mill donughts so I eat them twice a year. Still, eating one is not the end of the world unless you have a medical condition that dictates you shouldn’t. But really, that’s up to you to make the smart move.)

I guess I am once again left staring at how “health conscious” society is. More accurately, I think its weight obessesed. And I’m of the opinion that filling your body with artificial fat and sweetners and taking over-the-counter diet pills that recommend wearing dark clothing because it makes your butt leak does not make you healthy. Of course, neither does a packzi but if you are like me and view it as a once a year indulgence, its all good. So for those of you who are on the fence as to whether or not you should eat your artery clogging friend, I bring you my Top Ten Reasons to Eat a Paczki Today:

1. Its an opportunity to explore another culture. You are educating yourself on Polish traditions and you don’t want to insult them by not partaking of their food, do you?

2. Just figuring out how to spell paczki (which bears no resemblance to how its pronounced) uses up a lot of brain cells and should count as aerobic exercise.

3. You are helping to stimulate the economy by buying a little deep fried friend today. Do your part, eat a paczki.

4. The groundhog saw his shadow so you need to bulk up for the extended winter.

5. It’s a legal way to get stoned. The carb coma produced by eating one of these puppies rivals the effects of valium. You’ll have a much more pleasant day because of it.

6. Its amusing to watch engineers wearing white shirts bite into a blueberry filled one and have the filling plop all over them. They get to walk around the rest of the day looking like they were standing under a tree filled with birds that had upset stomachs. (Okay, maybe this is only my amusement. Its ironic justice, I guess you’d have to work with them to be as pleased as I am.)

7. You won’t need lunch. One paczki costs less then buying lunch (particularly if someone else brought them in and you get it for free) so really, it’s a cost savings.

8. Despite all the ranting and raving about calories and fat, they have one very strong point that keeps them thriving: they are damn good.

9. If you buy one and can’t bring yourself to eat it, allow it to age for about a week. They make excellent hockey pucks.

10. Its an excellent way to kiss up to the boss, especially if he is also Polish and is having a bad day. Paczki are loved by all, give the gift of deep fried dough.

Happy Fat Tuesday everyone.

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