Someone was bringing cinnamon raisin bagels to the office and toasting them in the office toaster. Every morning I distinctly smelled the aroma of cinnamon drifting around the corner and into my cubicle. Don’t they know that office workers are always starving to death and the smell of cinnamon is enough to turn us into raving maniacs, ready to attack and tear a bagel to bits?
At first I didn’t mind it too much. I mean anyone deserves to have an occasional bagel with his or her morning coffee. Not a big deal. That was before it continued to happen day after day. Just as surely as I settled into my office and was busy working on whatever the current project happened to be, I smelled the cinnamon bagel. The aroma was so deliciously overwhelming that I could practically float out of my chair and follow the wave of scent with my nose like a cartoon character.
I cannot hold my nose and use a computer. I tried closing my eyes, but it didn’t help. “Who is that evil person with the audacity to toast bagels at the office anyhow?” I thought. “I’m telling ya, there ought to be a law!” I tried to figure out who the culprit might be. But by the time I made it into the break room, the evidence had disappeared and only the scent of cinnamon lingered in the air to tingle my nose even further. I would have to go to the grocery store and find cinnamon raisin bagels to satisfy the craving. I could not stand it any longer.
My friend, a connoisseur of bagels, told me that cinnamon bagels are not “real” bagels at all, and that it is desecration of a bagel to put it in a toaster. Anyone with any bagel sophistication at all knows that “real” bagels must be plain and eaten with cream cheese spread, according to tradition. Blueberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese may pass for bagels, but they are certainly not the genuine things.
Perhaps he was right, but what did I care about the rules for bagel appreciation – especially when that cinnamon scent was drifting across the top of my cubicle, taunting me with its heavenly aroma. Real or not, I had to have a cinnamon raisin bagel, cream cheese was optional.
A trip to the grocery and a dig through the bread racks finally produced the foodstuff I was ravenous for. I could hardly wait to get to the office the next morning and fix my very own cinnamon raisin bagel in the office toaster. I waited for what seemed like hours for the toaster to pop up. When it finally did, I grabbed my bagel, wrapped it in a paper towel and nervously sneaked back into my office like a dog with a juicy new rawhide bone.
Somehow, though, it just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. Maybe I bought the wrong brand, or maybe I had built my anticipation up too high. I was not exactly certain. Nevertheless, I persisted in faithfully fixing my bagel each morning and hoping the phone would not ring and cause it to get cold before I could eat it.
I still didn’t know who the mystery person was that started the whole thing. Then I saw an empty bagel bag in the trash can one morning. Whoever it was must have run out of bagels. Just my luck! I was hooked and they had kicked the habit! And why were all these people floating into my cubicle and sniffing? Okay, I had a cinnamon raisin bagel. So what! Haven’t they ever smelled cinnamon before? Now I was causing everyone to starve and was scenting the office with cinnamon. They probably thought I was the one that was doing it the entire time.
Sigh! I believed that one day I could kick the habit too, but I only wanted them to quit whiffing my bagel, leave me alone and let me try to enjoy that thing while it was still hot!