Do you remember the line from the movie Airplane? It was said by Lloyd Bridges’ character in at least three different scenes. The first one was when he lit a cigarette. The second time was when he pulled out a flask. The final time was when he was holding a bottle of Elmer’s “It looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.”

I bring this up because on a weekend in early September, before anyone had heard of Florence or made plans to evacuate, back in a time when travel on I-40 was taken for granted, my son woke me up on a Saturday morning and informed me that we had forgotten to do something. “Dad, you realize we haven’t gone to Britt’s this summer.”

And so, it looks like I picked the wrong week to go on Keto!

On the 20 minute drive to Carolina Beach, I will pass a Krispy Kreme, and at least a couple of Dunkin Donuts. In close proximity there is also a Duck Donuts and Wake and Bake. All of them are great establishments, but none of them are Britt’s.

There are some people who don’t understand it, especially the out-of-towners. I’ve actually heard people mutter “What’s the big deal? It’s just another donut.” And in many ways they’re right. Even though it’s tasty, even as the hot glaze melts in your mouth, eating a donut, any donut, is hardly a life changing experience.

But it’s not just about the pastry and the coffee… because what we love is that it’s ours. IT’S OURS!  Yes, Britt’s dates back to a time before franchises populated every street corner. Back when a Ma and Pa store could really make a go of it. But beyond that, this donut shop that opened in 1939, that proudly proclaims it’s been voted the second best donut shop in the country, has become our way to mark the seasons.

People up north can buy apple cider at any given grocery store, but they go to the cider mill as a way to prove that fall has arrived. People in the Gulf States will go every year to their favorite seafood stand to get their crawfish because the mudbugs mean that it’s spring. And in this part of the world, it’s the opening of a seasonal donut shop that informs us that summer and our beach days have arrived.

I wanted to post this a few weeks ago. My plan was to  warn everyone that the donut days for 2018 were coming to an end so you better hurry . I was going to put this up a few days before Britt’s closed down for the year.

And then Florence happened.

I guess you can say that it looks like I picked the wrong week to write about Britt’s.

But when the winter gives way to the warmer weather, when Britt’s reopens in just a few months, it will be for their 80th year. And once again folks will get in their car, and drive by all those other places, and go to the donut shop on the boardwalk just  because IT’S OURS.

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