False Advertising – Why We Lie to Each Other

False advertising

False advertising is ruining our lives. As humans, we spend an inordinate amount of time lying to each other. We pretend life is amazing, that we’re successful, important, and happy. 

We want others to think we are living “the good life,” while others are missing out. 

We want to be loved. 

And still, we constantly chase things that will make us happy. We see someone else doing something and we want it. 

But this never fixes anything. Nothing ever truly satisfies. 

False Advertising – Donuts 

If you know me at all, I love donuts. I’m not much of a foodie – I could care less about fancy feasts or overpriced desserts – but when it comes to donuts, I lose my mind. 

There’s a switch of excitement that flickers in my head. I definitely like the taste – the soft cakey goodness – but it goes deeper than that. 

Living in New England, Dunkin’ Donuts is everywhere. It’s a way of life. Everyone starts their day with a Dunkin’ coffee (regular, please). They’re on every corner. You can’t get away from them if you tried. 

False Advertising – Grampy 

Growing up, we’d visit my grandparents on Saturday morning. And with the amount of cousins, aunts, and uncles, there was always a revolving door of friendly faces. 

And the one regular guest – a box of donuts. Inevitably, someone would arrive toting a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts. 

I’d look forward to this moment all week. When I could finally get my hands on a chocolate frosting filled donut – one of those white powdered heart attacks stuffed with cake frosting. Yum! 

Even now, every time I eat a donut, my mind flies back to Saturday mornings, sitting on my grandparent’s carpet. 

We’d wait eagerly while Grampy would fling handfuls of change on the floor, then us kids would scatter like maniacs, scuffing our knees collecting the money. 

He called it a “Pig Scramble.” And after the sugar-rush and all the running around, we’d only leave with $2.57. But to us it felt like a million bucks. 

False Advertising – The Best 

Then later in life, I learned about the “Best Donut in the World.” 

In the days of the Travel Channel and Food Network, it felt like Voodoo Donuts was the first bakery to go viral. Everyone knew about Voodoo Donuts, even if you’d never been to Oregon. 

They had a characteristic donut shaped like a voodoo doll, complete with pretzel stick jammed through the heart. Then remove the “needle” and it would bleed strawberry jam blood. Priceless. 

So for New Years, my wife and I visited Portland, Oregon. Already on the West Coast visiting family, we stopped by this hipster-hot-spot for one specific reason: Voodoo Donuts. 

False Advertising – Portland 

Our first day in Portland, we passed Voodoo Donuts on the way to the hotel. We saw the mile long line stretching around the block. Instantly we got excited, realizing we had made a great decision to visit this city. 

So the next day we got up early to beat the crowd. We arrived as the shop opened, without another customer in sight. We felt on top of the world, with the entire famous bakery before us, and the delicious smells as the donuts rolled out the kitchen. 

We ordered all of them. My wife and I had ordered a dozen donuts, to eat between the two of us. But we also couldn’t decide what donut would be best. There was a bacon donut and a Foot Loop donut – too many confusing decisions to make at 6 o’clock in the morning. 

We ran back to the hotel in the cold January wind, box of donuts under our arm. The reception desk in the hotel cheered us on, seeing we had visited the donut-mecca of Portland. We felt like heroes. 

False Advertising – Revealed 

Back in our room, we cracked open the box and prepared to eat. There were so many options it was impossible to decide. I went with my gut (obviously) and choose the staple: THE voodoo doll. 

I cracked him in half and took a bite. 

Umm, not what I expected. 

It was fine. I was passable as a donut. But it wasn’t delicious. 

I literally said, “Dunkin’ Donuts is better.” 

In New England, I could have visited 30 Dunkin’ Donuts within 10 miles. You can’t get away from them. So why was I compelled to travel across the country to get the “World’s Best Donut,” when it wasn’t? 

I was confused. Very confused. 

False Advertising – Lies 

Obviously, it was a lie. All a lie. 

The Voodoo Donut people have a great business and even smarter marketing campaign. If you’re in Portland you must stop by, even just for the Instagram pics. 

But if you REALLY want a great donut, go to Blue Star Donuts. 

My wife and I were depressed after our Voodoo Donut disaster. We still had a half dozen donuts rotting away that we weren’t going to eat. 

Then one morning, as we contemplated suicide and ending our lives (because clearly there was nothing else worth living for) we saw a man with a Blue Star Donuts box tucked under his arm. And then we saw a second person. It felt like an invitation from God to keep on living. 

We immediately tracked down Blue Star Donuts a few blocks away, and were impressed. It was a cleaner place with a trendy feel, and the donuts were spectacular. They were flavorful and fluffy – and arguably, the best donuts I’ve had in my entire life. 

I miss Blue Star Donuts a lot. 

I wish there was one on every corner.