I'm not sure how old this image is, but it must be 15 or 20 years old at least. It's been circulating online for as long as I can remember.
It's one of those images that's become a staple on humor sites, but people don't often pause to ask about the details of it: is the picture real? Where was it taken? And if it is real, what were all those cops doing there? Were they really all on a donut break?
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find out very much about the picture. Although I was able to locate where it was taken, because a few people recognized it. Both Jenni at ivman's blague
and April at strangetalk.net
independently identified it as a Donutland that used to be in Cedar Falls, Iowa. But the Donutland closed sometime during the 90s and was replaced by an Italian restaurant that also seems to have closed.
Some googling revealed that there was once a Donutland at 5312 University Ave in Cedar Falls. And here's that address now on Google Maps
. The shot is from a different angle, and the Donutland sign is gone, but I think it definitely is the same building.
Jenni thought the police cars in the picture looked like they were from the nearby town of Waterloo, not Cedar Falls. She joked, "obviously Waterloo was suffering from a lack of security that day!"
April (writing in 2001) also recalled some trivia about the Donutland:
that brown building behind is at the RV place next door.. cool yo! another sidenote about that donutland is at night, the DO in the neon sign's lights were out.. so it said 'Nutland'. There's even a picture of it in my senior yearbook and a caption from a kid that went there and wrote a check out to nutland...he was kicked out for good.
Because I can't see any obvious signs of photo manipulation in the picture, I'm going to assume the picture is real. Though why all the cops were there, I have no idea. Maybe it was staged as a joke. Or maybe all the cops really were on a donut break!