Written by Haisam Elkewidy
I remember staying up late at night on July 28th, randomly surfing the internet for anything to make me laugh and retain my sanity. It was enough that I had to put up with this job to pay my bills, until I found something better obviously, but only comedy kept me going while I patiently waited. So one day, I hooked up my laptop to the TV screen and with a box of donuts next to me, I started watching a show I’d come across for the first time.
The host in question was unconventional, yet his words in that moment echoed throughout the election season. I don’t know what it was about people getting so tense over two, flawed, corrupt, senile candidates being elected by a democracy where the majority ruled. It was supposed to be the closest thing to idealism, but the clear majority wasn’t responding happily to the only two options available. Funnily enough, people attempted to introduce a third option that was almost as bad, if not even worse than the two candidates available.
The standup comedian had an image of the American president positioned next to him, and he readied a priceless, yet hilarious commentary. “You see that smile?” he said. “That’s not of joy. That’s the grin of someone who’s about to go insane. He was like ‘I had to help bring the country back from a recession and out of two wars and after all of that, you’re going to hand it over to Cinnamon Hitler?!” The metaphor only made sense when you looked at the candidate in question, and I almost choked with laughter as a chunk of cinnamon donut clogged my vocal chords and prevented me from breathing. The words that went in through one ear, have somehow etched onto my memory, and then escaped right out of the other.
But six months later, the words would prove to be prophetic.
November 28th, 2016. The unprecedented, the incredulous, and the seemingly inevitable had transpired. They all thought it was a joke and to be honest, so did I. But as I took the AUC bus to the university, I strode by the many shops and stores on Road 90. Right next to the institution was pretty much one of my favorite food places of them all… Dunkin Donuts. It wasn’t the store that caught my attention as much as its most recent advertisement for their new product has.
Cinnamon Hitler, superimposed in chubby letters of pink and white, was written on a billboard directly on top of the Dunkin Donuts logo. Throngs of hundreds of Egyptians lined up in front of the small franchise, clamoring to quench their curiosity over the new product. The paradoxical association with a Nazi dictator didn’t even garner any criticism, but the electoral victory brought enough backlash, not only in America but worldwide, to bring a call to action, to try and appease the public.
The Republican presidential nominee had partnered up with Dunkin Donuts to create a new donut meal entitled Cinnamon Hitler, specifically referring to the comedian’s metaphor on his show. And Egyptians flocked to one of the most affordable offers like bees to a large honeycomb. Ravenous, unsatisfied, and relentlessly seeking the new sugary thrill.
I personally left the bus and tried to investigate the hype; it felt like twenty-fifteen all over again, and as though the store had just opened. At the time, it was the only branch in the entire country, and hundreds flogged to the store to get their fair share of donuts. Skirmishes broke out, and the management refused to open their doors to protect the property therein. After nearly three hours of waiting, the franchise welcomed their new customers.
The store opened at ten in the morning. 9:59 am, everyone knelt on one foot like they were getting ready to rush into the store. In the last moment, the gatekeepers released the locks and business would go about as usual at the only Dunkin Donuts franchise in the country. I quickly got stumped on by desperate buyers. Where I once sought after my daily breakfast of cinnamon donuts, I now seek to save my life…
By turning his presidency into a cultural icon, Cinnamon Hitler had been immortalized!