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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Krispy Kreme is offering free donuts to those who get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The red neon light of ‘Hot Donuts Now’ is flashing in my head bringing back memories of tasting Krispy Kreme’s hot treats.

Of all things to bring back memories — COVID-19 vaccinations.

Krispy Kreme triggered those memories with a special offer involving getting vaccinated.

I remember Dadeville High School English teachers Jane Blankenship and Annette Smith. They were hard on us students but for good reason. My papers set the foundation for much of the research I do here at The Outlook. They also encouraged students to attend shows at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Many times those trips were to daytime ‘School Fest’ performances on yellow school buses. I saw several classics with my classmates. “Taming of the Shrew,” “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet” come to mind. But it was the encouragement of attending more shows in the evening where memories intersect with Krispy Kreme.

After an evening performance of “MacBeth,” just down the road was Krispy Kreme. My parents wanted me to grab some donuts to bring home. So I ordered two dozen.

The cashier moved behind the glass window and grabbed a pencil moving one by one those dripping rings of goodness into boxes I would take home.

A torrential rain started to fall and I made the decision to wait in the dining area. I had just received a new Brooks Brother tie, yellow and blue, from my Aunt Sophie for Christmas just a couple months before. I didn’t want to get it wet because I knew she would ask about it or expect to see if the occasion required a tie in her presence. I didn’t want it to be damaged.

I added a bottle of milk to my order and sat down.

“I can sample one donut,” I thought. “It will be good with the milk.”

So I waited. I figured the rain would let up in a few minutes.

I don’t know if it was the red neon light reflecting off the condensation collecting on the window or the drug known as sugar calling the shots.

Well one donut led to two. Two led to three. Three led to four.

You get the idea.

My donut addiction began. More specifically my ‘Hot Donuts Now’ sign addiction started.

Today I can’t pass a Krispy Kreme where the nostalgic red neon sign is flashing.

It’s an addiction that has derailed diets. Dr. Robert Atkins’ eternal slumber is disturbed every time I taste the sugary rings.

It’s an addiction that has turned a quick trip to pick up dinner into, let's have dessert first.

Luckily Krispy Kreme is a bit far from us. The nearest is in Auburn at the mall and in Montgomery just in front of what was Toys ‘R Us. Oh and there’s one at the intersection of U.S. Highway 280 and Highway 119.

That’s right. I know where my closest Krispy Kremes are.

Please don’t let me know if others are closer.

Depending on where I’m going, there are decent odds I will stop for sugar coated goodness. And bring some home too.

This is not to denounce my liking of Daylight Donuts here in Alexander City. If they install that flashing red light, I’m in big trouble.

Now Krispy Kreme is trying to extend our waistlines even further with an enticing offer. Just flash your COVID-19 vaccination card and get a free donut everyday for the rest of the year.

It’s the best deal I have ever seen the company make.

I’m used to seeing the occasional free dozen with the purchase of another dozen.

I’m used to seeing the occasional coupon for a free donut attached to the purchase of something else.

But this, a coupon good all year long that doesn’t have to be turned in. Wow!

My waistline and Dr. Edwards are thankful the closest Krispy Kreme is 45 minutes away.

The offer is very good but so is the COVID-19 vaccine, a requirement of Krispy Kreme’s offer.

But how do I turn it down?

I could put my blinders on in an attempt to ignore the flashing red sign.

Better yet, I could just not go to Auburn, Birmingham or Montgomery.

Or what about creating another vaccine? This one to ignore Krispy Kreme. I know it’s not possible.

While Krispy Kreme’s offer may cause me to stop under the flashing red sign from time to time, the offer has a larger goal — help controlling the pandemic through vaccination.

So often over the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have asked what they could do to help their neighbors and others.

We all need antibodies to aid in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and there are two ways to get the antibodies — through COVID-19 or the vaccine.

What better way to give to our neighbor than the gift of hugging their mother in the nursing home? The vaccine will aid in that all needed hug.

I’ve been vaccinated.

I know it will help slow the spread.

If this helps my neighbor be able to hug his mother in the nursing home, so be it.

Brutus from Julius Caesar is now a glazed donut.

Et tu, Brute?

No dagger here but is Brutus the vaccine or the donut? Either way I will just walk a little longer to burn off that monthly turned weekly donut stop at that red flashing sign place for the good of the cause.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.