The toroids of York

Two recent Zippy strips on Maple Donuts in York PA:

(#1) From 5/11; note the sign “Drive Thru / God Bless / America”; Maple Donuts has 4 locations in the York PA area, and it’s not clear which one appears in any particular Zippy strip, or whether Bill Griffith has created cartoon amalgams of them; and note the title “Covfefe Break”

(#2) From 5/15, specifically on the noun toroid ‘geometric figure resembling a torus’

God Bless America. From my 12/1/17 posting “Maple Donuts, coffeeshops, and unapologetic identities”, about Maple Donuts, which had been featured a number of times in Zippy strips, with a message I’d like to repeat and reinforce:


Proud to be (an) American. Then there are the symbols and slogans on the diner: two American flags, one waving in the breeze, with the slogan American Quality; the other superimposed on an outline of a U.S. map, with the slogan God Bless America. (Plus a donut with a bite taken out, but that’s not notable on a donut shop.). Symbols and slogans conveying, broadly, patriotism and Christian belief: the Maple Donut company is proud to be American and proud to be Christian.

Whatever that means for a company. But let’s suppose the message is just about the owners of the company, who are proclaiming to anyone passing by that they are proud to be American(s) and Christian(s). But these are strong majoritarian positions, so what’s conveyed by the symbols and slogans?

Displaying symbols and slogans on appropriate occasions — American flags and patriotic slogans for patriotic holidays, like the Fourth of July, or crosses and Christian messages for Christian holidays, like Christmas and Easter — wouldn’t be surprising. And minority groups of all kinds might display symbols and slogans to claim a place in public life (against resistance to such claims), to unapologetically assert an identity, interest, commitment, or opinion (as I do when I display lgbt symbols and slogans).

But the Maple Donuts practice goes well beyond that. Viewing things straightforwardly, there would seem to be no point in announcing so prominently and constantly that you’re proud of something that most people agree with you on. If you look for relevance in these protestations, you might suppose that the Maple Donuts people are crowing in pride, asserting their superiority over the minority, casting doubt on the sincerity of those who don’t advertise their pride so vehemently, and so on.

That might make anyone uneasy.

The language of donuts. Earlier on this blog:

on 8/3/18, in “Ruthie and the language of donuts”:

[summary of discussion:] In any case, the word doughnut in English seems to date from around the beginning of the 19th century and to have spread along with the FSD [the category of (DEEP-) FRIED SWEET DOUGH], as a characteristic American food. The toroidal doughnut — now the prototypical American doughnut — seems to be a 19th-century thing, and mostly American.

on 6/25/19, in “Torus! torus! torus!”, on (toroidal) donuts, bagels (all toroidal), and toruses — with divagations to the astrological sign Taurus, Sp. toro ‘bull’, toro tuna, the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, and the Torah

covfefe. In Griffith’s title “Covfefe Break”, a straightford play on coffee break, alluding to the cultural combination of donuts and coffee, but using the Grabpussy spelling error covfefe instead. From Wikipedia:

Covfefe was a misspelling of the word “coverage” made in a viral tweet by [REDACTED], that subsequently became an Internet meme. Shortly after midnight (EDT) on May 31, 2017, [REDACTED] tweeted “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” and stopped. The tweet deleted some hours later. [REDACTED] implied later that day that the tweet’s wording was intentional. White House press secretary Sean Spicer also stated, “I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.”

(Grabpussy never makes a mistake.)



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