Le Bon Mot 

Cinnabon is holding an essay contest, and Food Fetish was inspired.

To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, Cinnabon, the chain that sells gooey cinnamon rolls at malls and airports around the nation, has just announced an essay contest. You, dear reader, are invited to submit your favorite Cinnabon memories to the company (Cinnabon Inc. Twentieth Anniversary Essay Contest, 200 Glenridge Point Parkway, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30342). Every entry will receive a gift certificate for a Cinnabon -- and the winner gets a year's supply (whatever that means) of Cinnabon Classic Rolls. Food Fetish has already submitted a few Cinnabon memories. Some of them are our own; others we recovered at the dump while picking over used electronics.

This isn't really a distant memory, since I've only just served six months of my sentence here at Folsom, but a lifetime supply of Classic Rolls would be mad currency in D Wing, Pod C. Anyway, there I was, a junior at Richmond High School. Life was all right -- a sweet girl, decent grades, a spot on the varsity football team. It was the day of a tough Saturday evening match against De Anza, and me and the fellas were working off the jitters that afternoon at Hilltop Mall, talking smack and checking out the ladies. Then I went into Cinnabon and got me two boxes of Cinnabon Minibons and an extra-large Coke. I hadn't had any lunch, so I ate all of it. BOOM! Within five minutes, I got this crazy feeling pulsing through me. I started jumping all over the place, tripping off all that sugar. Well, come game-time I was still buzzing. It's like I didn't even know where I was at. The jury never bought that explanation, but I swear I didn't get my head back until it was all over. I looked up and saw my girl crying with my mom. Police lights flashing. I'm flat on my stomach, hands cuffed behind my back. And there's a referee all bloody on the ground. Dead. They said I attacked him after he called back my winning touchdown, but I don't remember none of that. Just the taste of Minibons, and the sound of all those people cheering my name.

Your heavenly rolls have been a part of our lives since my wife and I met in the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton back in 1994. She was a Cinnabon counter lass, I a gawky lad with a passion for those bons, and in those days, the metabolism to match. We courted over Classic Cinnabons, and the day you introduced the Caramel Pecanbon, I got "nuts" enough to ask her out. Eleven blissful years later, we're still in love and still at the very same mall, her with her own cellphone kiosk and me in the security office. But that's not what I wanted to tell you about. We have a boy now! Travis is three, and does he ever share our love for Cinnabons! When he was a wee tot, we used to put fresh rolls near his crib because the smell of caramel and cinnamon would help him sleep. Very mysterious, but we weren't asking any questions -- I can't tell you what a blessing that was! Our little Cinna-bonny is now walking, talking, and always asking for Cinnabons. We always keep some in the freezer to microwave for when he won't stop screaming. He's quite the little chunk now, but those fifty pounds are all ours! Thanks for helping us raise our child, Cinnabon!

I wasn't sure I would write, but I had to tell you that you were part of one of the most memorable moments in my life. The date: February 12, 1999, a rainy late afternoon. The place: Cinnabon, Sun Valley Mall food court, Concord, California. My outfit: Red and green plaid Gap shirt, Lee jeans, A's cap, Timberlands. The mood: Wistful. She: perfection, hair black and wavy like the Appalachian Trail; eyes like liquid chocolate you'd want to dip marshmallows and chunks of banana in. Her outfit: blue miniskirt, tight white blouse, heels so high I thought she was floating on air. Our eyes met. Bells began to ring. I opened my mouth to say, "Are you from heaven?" I was so lovestruck I forgot that I'd just taken a huge bite of a Cinnabon. The half-chewed chunk fell from my mouth, trailing frosting and saliva. My expression: horror. Hers: horror, too. And then she was gone, never to return. Cinnabon, I can't deny that the next four years were very dark indeed. But Dr. Ortega says I can laugh about it now. She says I am now strong enough to return to Cinnabon and enjoy one of your life-changing rolls. I feel I am ready.


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