Columns

2009.12.02 Would 10-year-old donuts get me a reality show?

on . Posted in Nowhere Road

By RICH FOLEY

I’m sure you found it hard to avoid the news last week about the Virginia couple who crashed a state dinner at the White House. It really was an important story in that if it’s possible to dodge security and get close to the President without clearance, someone with mayhem on their agenda could take the opportunity to assassinate him or other government and world leaders.   

What was even more unbelievable was that the couple pulling off the stunt apparently have dreams of turning their little performance into a reality television show. That brings back memories of that dysfunctional family from Colorado and their “spaceship” balloon recently.

That family had hidden one of their children in the attic and claimed he had taken off in the contraption, tying up emergency personnel for hours as they chased what proved to be an empty balloon. Somehow, the father thought that this ridiculous act would make a television network give him his own show. He had already been on the show “Wife Swap” and was looking for more fame. I think his wife should swap him for anything she can get.

Think about it for a second. The guy pretends his son is in peril, wastes the time and efforts of rescue workers needlessly, causes thousands of dollars to be expended by police and other agencies, then lies to the media about it until his son accidentally blurts out the truth. And he expects to be rewarded with his own television show? Is one of the cable networks casting for a new show called “American Idiot?” If so, he’s their man.

I actually have to grudgingly admit some slight admiration for the White House dinner crashers. Because of them, you can bet the Secret Service will be on the ball like they’ve never been before. The chances of people with bad intentions repeating their performance just fell to something like one in a billion.

And, unlike the bonehead in Colorado, they actually were putting themselves in grave danger in the completion of their stunt. At any point, a sharp Secret Service agent could have discovered they weren’t on the guest list, putting them at the mercy of a highly-trained security force hell-bent on protecting the premises and guests from any and all threats. From then on, things might not have been very happy for the party crashers.

If their only motive was to expose holes in White House security, you might say that we owe them a debt of thanks. Instead, they’re hoping that the television networks will engage in a bidding war for an exclusive interview (bet the balloon guy wishes he had tried that) while waiting for those reality show producers to come calling.

While no one will be impressed by another runaway balloon and another attempt to crash a White House function would most likely be a suicide mission, I’ve been thinking about how I could get my own reality television show. And the answer is right in the Observer office—the box of Miracle Donuts.

For relative newcomers to this column, back in late 1999, I brought a box of donuts to work. A couple were eaten at the time, the rest were shuffled to the back room. The fact that the box is still here serves as proof that we’re too busy to worry about spring cleaning. On December 23, they will celebrate (if donuts really celebrate anything) the tenth anniversary of their expiration date.

Surprisingly, the donuts still look pretty good, although they have dried out to the point that they weigh almost nothing, sort of like Styrofoam. I wonder if they taste like it, too? Hence, my idea for a reality show. Yes, for the right price and creative control, I’m willing to eat a 10-year-old donut on television.

I would think this should be of great interest to the Food Network. Or maybe it could be a special, like when the late Evel Knievel tried to jump his Skycycle across the Snake River. 

It would probably have to be a one-shot deal, as I don’t see how eating a donut could be stretched into a series, especially if I get violently ill. But I’m willing to listen to offers.

How about it, Fox? HBO? Cartoon Network? I’ve got extremely stale donuts, just give me a call.

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