One of my more vivid memories of being a kid is of talking back to my dad about how many cookies I could eat from a bag of Chips Ahoy before bed. He’d offered me some from the tray and, quick as a snake, I’d snapped my hand in and grabbed a stack of five.
“Three,” he said.
“Five!” I said impudently.
“Three,” he said again, extending his hand. I didn’t want to get spanked, but I didn’t want to relinquish my cookies, either. In a moment of what I supposed at the time to be genuine brilliance, I stuck out my tongue and ran it up the side of each and every cookie in the stack. Then I handed two of them, glistening with fresh saliva, back to my dad.
At first he looked angry, but then he couldn’t help it: he laughed. Relieved and a little scared, I laughed too. And then he gave the cookies back to me. I’d won!
But later that night, I felt sick to my stomach as I tried in vain to fall asleep. Five cookies is too much. I’d lost.
Don’t worry, I’ve grown up and my tastes have changed; now I lick the cookies before they’re baked. As I learned from years in the restaurant industry, “it all cooks out.”