In America there’s a stubborn connection between cops and donuts. I’m sure police hate the stereotype, but with the rudeness I’ve encountered by American police, and considering how overweight a lot of them are, and since you do almost always see at least one police car parked at any given donut shop, I admittedly partake in the joke now and then. When the kids were little, I would sometimes make references to cops and donuts in their presence, until R started to pay attention and asked what the deal was. I told her it was nothing, a grown-up joke, because I wouldn’t want her to grow up with stereotypes, now would I? Especially not ones that can get her arrested if she’s in a silly mood when a cop pulls her over later.
So R came up with her own explanation. When she was six, she had figured it all out. Cops use donuts as bad-guy bait. When confronted by bad guys she imagined the officer would say: “Hands up who wants a donut!” and up would go the hands and on would go the handcuffs. Or the officer would hold the donut up high, saying: “You have to reach for it with two hands!” and as soon as the bad guy has two hands up in the air, on, again, go the handcuffs. Then the bad guy is transported to jail in a cage on wheels that is trailed behind the police car.
The bad guy could be cuffed with the donuts as well, according to R. She had never had a donut, but she had had bagels, untoasted, and man, they are tough! I can just picture it: a bad guy writhing against the cuffs, holding them to his face, frantically chewing, but it’s too late. By the time he has munched through two donuts and freed his wrists, he has already been shoved into the cage on wheels behind the police car, and the officer is locking the door. In a rage the bad guy throws the rest of the donuts on the street, and the last thing he sees before the cage rounds the bend is a couple of doves pecking at the bagel-like donuts and getting nowhere.