Friday, February 09, 2024

The Significance of the Chocolate Donuts

 So, Jeff Grubb Day (8 February, mark your calendars) has come and gone. I have explained the story of Jeff Grubb Day, and the Roger Moore Connection. Friends like Stephen Schend have kept the celebration alive, and it has spilled out over the Internet and Facebooks. Next up, we shoot for Federal Recognition!

And many who know have responded with mentions of chocolate-covered donuts, which have become part of the celebration. But I have not explained the significance of the little chocolate donuts. 

At several times during my tenure at TSR, I was put in the position of product manager. This wasn't a real position (nothing on the business card, no raise, often the name changed), but I was responsible for keeping an eye on the design/editing of various lines. I didn't have any real authority, so I was what is now called "a dotted-line report" - I was supposed to keep tabs on things and help make deadlines, but had no real power to make stuff happen. So my responsibility consisted mostly of running the weekly meeting where everyone would report in on what they are working on (yeah, standups are not as a new business thing, either). And for my teams, this involved little chocolate donuts. 

Mind you, chocolate donuts are bad for you. They are heavy, dense little torus-shaped nuggets covered in a waxy chocolate coating. Saturday Night Live did a great false commercial on them. They are definitely not good for you, so if you're going to have one, you'd better have a damned good reason to do so. In fact, you should have done something to DESERVE a chocolate donut. So every week, at these meetings, we would play "What have you done to deserve a chocky donut, dammit?".

And, spoilers, everyone always did something to deserve a chocky donut (dammit). But there was one interaction with the mighty editor Steve Winter involving them that sticks in my memory. Here's the gist of the interchange:

  • Me: So, Steve! What have you done to deserve a chocky donut, dammit?
  • Steve: (laughing) Well, I've been working on the CRAPfest of your most recent Spelljammer turnover. so there's that.
  • Me: Here. Take the box. 

So that's the significance of the chocolate donuts in regards to Jeff Grubb. And now you know.

More later,