It’s always been a mystery to me at work. Whenever a box of donuts appear, some of the donuts suddenly begin to disappear piece by piece… almost as if it was before my eyes. Yet I never actually see anyone eating them. First, I turn around and a quarter piece of a donut is missing. I shake my head, turn around to get some coffee, and when I turn again, another donut is half missing. I quickly grabbed a whole donut before it, too, started to disappear in pieces, hunch over it to protect the precious thing and scurry back to my desk thankful that it’s still a whole donut when I get there.

This process of different donuts going missing piece by piece has been an office conundrum to me for a few years. It turns out, it has nothing to do with ghosts, invisible aliens, or sorcery as I’d originally thought. Rather, it turned out to be colleagues of mine cutting off small pieces of donuts.

Wait. What? I don’t get it. Why not just take the whole donut?

It was patiently explained to me that by taking a whole donut, one then goes against one’s diet. They need to watch what they eat because they’re on a diet. If they take a whole donut, they’d eat the whole donut, and that wouldn’t be good because they’d certainly gain 20 pounds on the spot. They would most certainly expand faster than an inflatable life raft. However, by taking a knife, and cutting little bits off a donut to put on their plate or napkin, they’re able to appear very dainty, lady-like, and prove to everyone who sees them that they have will-power and are only taking a taste of a donut.

But you go back 8 times to sample a donut! At the end, you have consumed a total of 2 complete donuts!

But calories don’t work that way – or so I’m expected to believe. Calories only work together when they’re whole and complete. By cutting a quarter piece of a donut off to consume, you are thereby disassembling the complete donut’s caloric value, and thereby making those in the smaller portion of donut ineffective calories. It’s almost as if they jump off the donut piece as it approaches ever closer to the mouth. By the time it reaches the tongue, it is free of calories.

So now I understand why boxes of donuts at work contain bits and pieces of donuts. Now I think the next conundrum I’ll need to research and report is the paradox of the clothes-shrinking closet. How is it I can hang something in my closet, and when it comes back out, it shrank? The same thing seems to happen when I walk past my dryer….