Favorite Fictional Characters, #280: Fred the Baker
As I don suit and tie and head back to work after a year of domesticity, I'm forcibly reminded of another tireless New England icon of industry, Fred the Baker. This pastry confectioner rose at ungodly hours, day after day, taking pride in his commitment to the coffee-swilling and cruller-swallowing patrons who depended on him. From 1981 to 1997, Dunkin' Donuts promised, through Fred, that no matter how early you needed to be up for work, he would be up earlier, injecting jelly and spreading frosting and sprinkling...sprinkles.
America may run on Dunkin', but for nearly two decades Dunkin' ran on Fred. He was one of the most recognizable and beloved pitchmen in the region, with his weary work ethic and corporate loyalty. He was New England: gruff and tired but reliable and indefatigable. Time for me to find that part of myself again as I merge haltingly back into the stream of workaday drones.
Time to make the donuts.