Oh, Fat Albert, if you only knew how much you really inspired me as a child.
Well, Internets, I hope you've got a helmet to protect you from all of the beads and doubloons flying your way, because Mardi Gras is here.
It's a well-known fact that I faithfully celebrate the holiday each year, but rather than get dressed up in a skimpy, glittery number with a feathered headdress, I opt for beignets.
Not to be confused with paczki, Polish Americans. Pączki are for Tłusty czwarte.
It was many moons ago - one February Thursday 4 years ago - when I found myself alone, in the middle of the night, in a Polish train station in the middle of nowhere. I and two other passengers were waiting for our connection to Cieszyn.
One, an older man, fell asleep on a bench across the station. The other, a young, studious-looking man left the station into the dark of night for places unknown.
Color me surprised when he returned a short 20 minutes later.
Color me another level of surprised (threat level orange, maybe?) when he came over to me, sat down, and pulled out a bakery bag.
He proceeded to pull out two pączki and handed one to me. Nevermind where he managed to purchase pączki in the middle of the night in Poland. Perhaps Tłusty czwarte is reason enough, though, in my experience of European countries, things usually shut down on holidays, not remain open longer.
Regardless of where the sugary abundance came from, I enjoyed a few moments with my new friend.
He didn't speak English and I don't speak Polish, so we weren't friends for long.
Just long enough to enjoy the moment together.
Let this be a lesson to you men - a wordless moment shared with a woman when donuts are also involved means you'll be remembered forever.
PS - If you're looking for a good time, Cafe Imperial in Prague keeps a plate of stale donuts on their counter. For a nominal fee (in the scheme of things) you can purchase the donuts and chuck them at anyone in the cafe with Imperial's full support.