Cookie Monster, Revisited

Quote of the Day:

Confess and be hanged.” –Christopher Marlowe

This morning TB left home a little earlier than usual. I had a long drive and needed some extra time. There was a chocolate chip cookie left over from last night in the microwave. It wasn’t mine but I took it. I figured I could just make more tonight if anyone missed it. As I walked out the door I started to take a bite but stopped myself. “I’ll save it for after breakfast so I can savor it,” I told myself. Before I got in the car it was gone. The act was completely involuntary. I was powerless to stop it.

That cookie was dang good too. So good in fact that I rerouted in order to get breakfast at Fresh Market on the way out of town. At Fresh Market I picked up three more chocolate chip cookies, one to savor after breakfast as originally planned and two for lunch. It was going to be a long drive after all.

There is nothing like a long drive for reflecting on one’s life. Complex political issues, the origins of the universe, awesome blog topics…in the car all alone eternal questions like these get within a hair’s breadth of resolution, the threads of logic interrupted only by an overwhelming urge to self examine one’s own life and come to profound realizations. And so it was, as I devoured a stray crumb rescued from the crease in my shirt, that I thought of my childhood friend Cookie Monster and the great controversy that has always stood between us.

In 1979, Citizens National Bank fielded one of the greatest T-ball teams in the history of Pascagoula, probably the world. Our centerfielder was a heavy hitter, the only kid on the team bigger than me. After running roughshod over the eleven opponents available to us and winning every title we competed for, we convened for the final time at Beach Park for a team party. I don’t recall much about the party except that everyone got a game ball from the season and I happened to get stuck with a crummy one from a blowout of one of the worst teams, probably Toulme Tire or some such, if you were wondering. Undoubtedly there were hot dogs and chips and of course there were cookies.

I honestly have no recollection of what happened that day. What I know for sure is that my friend was accused by the coaches of pilfering the cookies, not only before they were to be served, but in numbers so great he left the plate near empty. He was immediately convicted in the court of public opinion and christened the Cookie Monster, a name that has stuck with him for all his years.

Cookie Monster and I went our separate ways after that season and it was several years before I saw him again. I happily greeted my old CNB comrade and eagerly raised the topic of our 8 year old greatness. To my shock and confusion Cookie Monster did not want to rehash the good ol’ days. Instead he wanted something I could not provide–evidence of his innocence in the cookie stealing matter, moreover, an alibi. The issue was so settled in my mind that I did not even consider his accusation of me as the guilty party plausible, much less credible. I laughed off the incident while CM seethed. As we passed through our teens and entered our twenties I saw CM regularly. Never, not once, did he fail to accost me about the matter of the cookies and never did he fail to demand my confession. The man would not release the grudge. I always laughed.

Then today I ate cookies until I was almost ill. I love cookies. I love the buy 5 get one free at the mall. Did you know if you buy ten they give you two? It’s a sweet deal. As I drove, my subconscious mind worked over the old faded memories of childhood, turning over every shred of the summer of ’79 it could find. A definitive memory of the incident just doesn’t exist. But how can a dude hold a grudge about something he’s guilty of against another who is innocent for thirty years if he doesn’t truly believe he is expressing the truth? How do I explain my inability to keep the cookie I stole from my child out of my mouth for even thirty seconds? When the juxtaposition of my undeniable cookie love and CM’s enduring recriminations against me is considered, what does it prove? The case is circumstantial for sure, but it feels right. It is a burden lifted off my shoulders, a renewal of my spirit, a cleansing of the soul. I will never recapture the memory in my mind, but in my–in my taste buds–the knowledge is true. You’ve gotta be right Cookie Monster. You were wrongly convicted. It had to have been me.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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21 Responses to Cookie Monster, Revisited

  1. irvineredd says:

    Kroger has been doing a deal where when you buy a package of cookies they are 10 cents each. It’s wonderful.

    Cookies are probably my favorite sweet snack. It’s sometime hard to control. I support the taking of the cookie from the microwave. The little one will have plenty of time to eat cookies later.

    Always deny! CM is using your cookie love against you. The same way the LA prosecutors tried to use OJ’s love of night golf against him.

  2. Fish says:

    Just always remember,
    Denial is the key to success!
    (Quoted from my first college roommate-Frank Torre JR, Yes Joe Torre’s nephew)

    • Chris says:

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  3. Jessie Lou says:

    If you went by Fresh Market on your way out of town you can always go back on your way into town and buy the little darlin some more and she’ll never be the wiser. Your wife and her thoughts are another subject altogether. If I was expecting to find a cookie in the microwave and it was not there, Lord have mercy, there would be hell to pay. I’m still mad because someone ate my ice cream out of your freezer some 9 years ago. I learned a valuable lesson – never leave anything I wanted to eat later in that fridge. I used to know who done it but I can’t seem to remember that at the moment, believe it or not. I do remember my utter disgust at having my mouth all ready for chocolate and having nothing, not even one bite of ice cream, to satisfy myself with. Again, such fond memories.

  4. calicobebeop says:

    You know, it takes a great man to ‘fess up – congrats! You have earned all those cookies, I’m quite sure. Too bad that fellow has to hold a grudge about it…

  5. irvineredd says:

    I think I know who the culprit was, JL. I do have a sweet tooth.

  6. Waldo is the midnight ice cream gobbler in question I believe. After a long Saturday of football and other entertainments it was no unusual thing to find the soft light of Sunday mornings shining upon a chocolate dried spoon on the carpet, an empty cardboard bucket on the TV, and a rueful, grimacing Waldo laid out on the couch.

    • Sundas says:

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  7. Jessie Lou says:

    Sweet Child of Mine – Irv – it was not you, could not be you as you were no where near TB’s fridge. You were always smart enough to ask me first, plus I always got you your own bucket of ice cream – mint chocolate chip.

    I didn’t know Waldo was ever rueful! But I can picture that whole scenario. Here I was thinking it was Greeg for some reason – sorry Greeg!

  8. smilyj says:

    I am familiar with this story and have always assumed CM was telling the truth, knowing TB and his love of cookies. For example always having to get a cookie anywhere they were available when dining out. But also because of the devious nature of TB. Especially as a youngster. I think I have expressed his deceipt during dealings with me as a child with baseball cards. And the screwing me with the liquor numerous times as young adults. But the evidence I think that convinces most was a confession from TB about how a fellow youngster in elementary school had apparently got on TB’s bad side through the school year. TB in his typical deviant self waits till the day at the end of the year when the teachers inspect the textbooks. Then he gets possesion of the his nemesis’ textbook and decides to deface them with stuff a child should not know. Needless to say the total shock of the poor kid as he is forced to explain himself to the teacher who holds the defaced textbooks in front of him demanding an explanation……….TB strikes again.

  9. Harmony says:

    Best.story.ever. You cookie bandit, you!

    Still though, I can’t believe a grown man held on to that for so long. I bet he’d pass out with disbelief if you owned up to it now. Save him the anuerysm and keep this realization to yourself, I say.

  10. Re: Smily’s assertions, any baseball card dealings we may have had would’ve been the result of shrewd trading, nothing more. The liquor thing has been dealt with–I was always exceedingly fair, which is my strongest trait as you know, with the portions, your math skills notwithstanding. As for my less savory traits, my devious abilities are as you described even though your first two examples are poor ones. The dude in school got what he had coming to him for bullying me at recess one day. He had a record haul of fines coming to him in addition to the whippin I bet he got at home. It was devious, true, but deserved.

    Harmo, Fish, Irv….I’ve already fessed up. It was the dude that gave me a “Bendamnwhite” on Facebook last week and undoubtedly the reference went to work on my subconscious. I’ll be interested in what he has to say.

    As for the incident at the center of all this, the reason I have denied it for so long is that my guilty conscience trait is also very strong. I never had one over this issue which is why I could not accept the blame. But I now believe my addiction was stronger than any guilt I might normally have felt under other circumstances, like say, bubble gum or fun dip.

  11. br says:

    if i remember correcty TB was also addicted to spree’s and Sucide drinks. I can remember sitting in the bleacher’s at gibson field and him making a spit rainbow on the ground with the spree’s and then chasing them with the coke, sprite, Rootbeer and orange mixed drink.

  12. smilyj says:

    Yeah He also had an affection for soda type drinks before his alcohol days. Remember the country club halfway house fiasco. All he wanted was the sprite and cokes, man.

  13. alright alright, let’s move on. nothin to see here.

  14. sweet says:

    Is this a pile on TB? I’ll play……..I remember Baen being a bad influence on me regarding ice chests and garage beer. Smiley, you were there during that phase too, sneaky bastard

  15. Smilyj says:

    Yes I was influenced by TB’s deliquency. However, for a large part of the garage escapades, TB didnt even drink. It was just for the hoodlumnism of it for him. How sick is that? And as I remember, Sweet begged to go on one of the secret missions just to be a part of it I think.

  16. TB may have masterminded a few capers but it was only building on Smily’s criminal idea. I did it for the intellectual and physical challenges, Smily for his own addiction. The garage business was his baby Sweet, I just perfected it. Y’all act like people were following me around, I was just a face in the crowd, man.

  17. Smilyj says:

    I actually had an ice chest with some beer pilfered in the back of my truck not long ago. They left the ice chest, took the beer. I couldnt really get mad.

  18. Madd Dawg says:

    sorry sEan, that was me. I saw your lime green El Camino with the patented “ISWALOW” license plate parked in front of the Yoshika spa with the ice chest in the back. I opened it to find 17 Zimas, 4 Strawberry-Peach coolers, and a mere two beers. I grabbed the beers.

  19. Smilyj says:


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