Monday, December 21, 2009

Donuts and Pickled Beets

Back in 1984, I worked with this Swedish expatriate who drove a shiny new Cadillac. If you asked him, Sven would tell you that one thing he loved about America was the big honkin' cars. Then he'd offer you a donut, because he always picked up a box for the group on his way in.

It was kind of funny preference for cars, because Sven was barely five foot, barrel shaped and balding with a pasty complexion. Being from Sweden, he'd only own something with rear wheel drive.

"Safer," he'd tell you. "If you break the wheels free that move the
car, you can still steer."

I took the bus to work on a wicked snow day. The place was quiet as a mouse, so I thought I was alone. But when I checked on some equipment in a back room that overlooked the parking lot, I had to smile.

There were only two tire tracks coming in the entrance, but it looked like 20 crazy teenagers had been out there doing donuts. Out of all that were two tire tracks that led right up to Sven's Caddy.

I wandered back to where Sven sat and waited until he looked up.

"Nice donuts," I said.

His whole head turned red as pickled beets.