This morning I ate a chocolate-chip bagel with hazlenut cream cheese.  I think it made me become 10% less New Yorker.

Sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Granted, the bagel was free, discovered in the break room at work, on top of a stack of other similarly sugared bagels from Panera.  Stupid Panera, with your sweet candy bagels.  If you want a Danish, I say have a Danish.  If you want a pixy stick, have a pixy stick.  If you want a bagel, have one with some damn seeds and salt on it.

The last time I actually set foot in a Panera, I told my friend that I wasn’t sure I wanted to bring children into a world that had Passion Fruit bagels.  I have not been back since.  But this bagel invaded my working turf, and everyone knows that when you’re at work you will comfort yourself by eating anything wearing a snack wrapper.

I have always been a purist as far as bagels are concerned.  Granted, I do enjoy most bagel flavors in the savory pantheon.  Onion, Poppy, Sesame, Everything, even Garlic.  (Although I sneer at Egg, and squint at Salt).  I am likewise fairly flexible and magnanimous in my allowance of toppings.  Bagels can be graced with tomatoes, loaded with lox or ham, strewn with raw onion.  I have on occasion been known to use a fancy Lox Spread.  Toss a few scallions into my cream cheese and I will not slap your face.  But there is no place for low-fat or fat free cream-cheese based spread, and I will NOT stand idly by while cream cheese is sullied with sugar or fruit.

Until this morning.  Oh God.  I hang my head in shame.  No stomach of mine should have accepted that  tainted sugarbagel.

I need to return to the city of my birth and devour the delicious boiled bread of my homeland.