We have a third roommate. She’s lived with us since the beginning of February. She has only paid rent and not her security deposit. The last check she wrote, my other roommate deposited into her account so she could write one big check for the rent. The last check this third roommate wrote, the one I just mentioned, bounced. Rent checks in New York City are not for small amounts. My roommate doesn’t have thousands of dollars floating around to pick up the slack of returned checks. You live here, you live with us, be dependable. This is an awesome apartment, and you can’t freeload. You’re screwing with people’s credit, and Becky’s been reminding you for MONTHS about the security deposit. And now you’re out of town, and Becky’s waited too long for you to cough up the security deposit. Come ON. Were we foolish to decide to let you, a 20-year-old, live with us? You’re responsible for a lot at your job; we figured you’d be reliable. We gave you the benefit of the doubt. You’re a really nice girl. You’re a lot of fun, but we really need you to be responsible. I don’t feel we lucked out with you. I thought at first we did, but that has proven to be a very false notion. We don’t want to end up homeless, on the street, having to fight for niches beneath stairways with the other homeless people. They could take me, you know. They might not eat much or often, but they definitely would kick my butt for a warm, dry place to sleep. All we’re asking for is some security. And we’d like the deposit for that. Please.
I like cookies. I mean, I really like them. I made some oatmeal ones Sunday afternoon. Four (4) dozen. They’re almost gone. I mean, they’re on the table for anyone to take, and I’m glad they’re almost gone. I’ve probably eat a dozen of them. A baker’s dozen. I’d eaten one for breakfast with a half glass of orange juice (word, Sarah) before I head out the door for seminary. Then I’d cancel out the cookie with a bowl of raisin bran once I got to work. Or a bowl of oatmeal, which is just like cookies, except without all the sugar and butter and that one egg.
I like all sorts of cookies. I’ll eat the shortbread ones that come in tins you get at Christmas. Buttery goodness, and totally bad for you. Also not a interest to take up if you don’t plan on balancing it with exercise and veggies. I don’t think a cookie exists in the world that I won’t eat or at least try. They’re the perfect finger food. You control the portions. If you don’t control the portions, however, you can end up eating hundreds, even thousands at a time. Good thing I made only 4 dozen cookies.
I’ll often go for the animal crackers in the vending machine at work. They’re 60 cents, which is more than the 50-cent chip varieties, but those bags of chips are a bum deal. You get 3 chips and 3000 calories. With the animal crackers, you get 20-30 substantial cookies all for under 200 calories. It totally satisfies my late-morning munchies, especially when I don’t feel like paying 85 cents for trail mix.
I also like caramel. If fudge and caramel were ever going to fight or participate in some sort of competition, I’d root for caramel. Underdog tendencies. Fudge seems to get all the attention. And caramel? It’s pretty much exalted corn syrup. Add a little butter and heat and sugar, and you get heaven. Heaven times infinity. Caramel is eternity. See how that syllogism works? Caramel. I don’t say it the same way all the time. CARE-ah-mell. Carr-mul. It’s delicious any way you say it.
I don’t want to be unfair to chocolate though. I do really like chocolate. I mean, it has a lot of the same elements as caramel, and it goes really well with caramel. Dark chocolate has those antioxidant properties, and I used to remark that if you ate enough of it, you’d probably die of a heart attack, but at least you wouldn’t have cancer. Chocolate is also pretty versatile. You can watch Iron Chef and see how true that is. Those are believable foods, too. Dessert is the most common form of chocolate. Cookies, with caramel. In ice cream. Chips. In liquid form for intravenous administering.
So today, around 11:00, I went to the break room to fill up my water bottle and see about getting some animal crackers. Someone was at the vending machine when I got there, and I didn’t stand too close behind him, and I didn’t want him to feel like I was spying on his vending choice. I did see that he got a snack from the “C” row, so I know he got some sort of chip variety. I waited a few seconds for him to push the little door and reach his hand in the snack depository pit thing to grab his mysterious chip variety. I waited for him to leave the break room, because for some reason I’m embarrassed to buy animal crackers.
I offered my money to the vending machine. The vending machine accepted and allowed me to push “A” and “1” for my selection. The coil holding my animal crackers rotated, and that blue cellophane bag dropped within my reach. When I stuck my hand in Mr. Vendy’s mouth, not only did I pick up my animal crackers, there was also a little golden-foiled package of Twix. The guy before me didn’t see it? Was he only focused on his chip variety? Was this my lucky day?
You know by now how much I like cookies. And caramel. And chocolate. You probably have a good idea what I did.