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Bagels and a baaaad habit

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Never one to miss a bandwagon, Central Florida is jumping aboard -- or being taken for a ride -- on a number of fronts. First, there is what will only become known as the Great Bagel War. Bagel eateries have been popping up faster than you can say, "Would you like cream cheese and lox on that?" Brueggers, Bagel Boulevard and Einstein Bros. have collectively opened up a dozen -- how appropriate -- such restaurants in the past year. Many of them are situated in concentrated areas, leading to an inevitable Sharks-and-Jets kind of conclusion that only one will be left standing. Meanwhile, another bandwagon is roaring through the city as evidenced by the preponderance of cigar smoke in the air. This is a national trend and, as expected, Orlando is a little late jumping on. But it's fast catching up. Witness the fact that along with the giant tubs of peanut butter and twelve-gross containers of toilet paper, Costco is now selling cigars wholesale for its customers who want to choke down stogies at alarming rates. (This would be an easy time to go for the Freudian in explaining why bagels and cigars are on the rise, but we won't do that.) The bagel explosion suggests that people have finally clued in to the realization that donuts are bad for you. (Or maybe it's because because all of the area cops have forsaken donuts for Angel's.) Even the ever-lasting monument known as Dunkin' Donuts is jumping over into the bagel realm. Expect hybrids such as the Boston creme bagel any day now. The cigar explosion is the reverse, as it's an unhealthy reaction to the very healthy trend against cigarette smoking. Both, however, are pure manipulations from advertisers. In the ever-changing landscape of consumerism, they have created a supply where no demand existed, proving once again that Orlando is always in full supply of sheep.

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