Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cookies, delivered by a benevolent and droll universe

So, I'm getting ready to move. While packing today, I glanced out the window while carrying one particularly heavy object across the room and my eyes settled immediately on the one oddity in the environment: a youngster, about 12 years old, hunched over in my driveway, thumbs hooked in pants, slowly undressing. I leaned forward and put down the box: wha--? There is a complete stranger in the driveway, and omg, is he going to PEE on my car??

I ran outside. "Excuse me, can I help you?"

He whirled around and looked at me blankly while fussing with his pants.

I stopped beating around the bush. "Um, what are you doing?"

He blinked. "My jeans are ripped really bad and I can't wear them anymore. I'm part of the youth non-incarceration project and we are selling cookies to raise money to help kids stay off the streets." He showed me a probably-bogus flyer.

My first thought: not undressing in stranger's driveways is a good first step away from future incarcerations. Second thought: can they use this money to buy you some new pants?

I started to say these things but then I noticed he was selling CHOCOLATE CHIP cookies.

My brain went blank.

The transformation was instantaneous: my entire cerebrum shifted into one giant food-acquiring lobe. It only took one cocoa-seduced blink for me to turn completely into Homer Simpson.

Obviously, this shift has serious implications for the self-preservation instinct: the brain cannot calculate risk at the same time as entertaining the fantasy of chocolatey goodness gliding down the throat, and so I bought an unmarked bag of cookies.

For $10.

From a half-naked 12-year old undressing in my driveway.

(He WAS wearing shorts, or at least boxers that passed for shorts....)

The cookies could have been glazed with arsenic, dipped in iridium, baked with hepatitis-A contaminated water and lovingly swiped between the rears of multiple 'tween thugs before being bagged and yet I didn't care. I needed cookies. And I needed them immediately.

And so I had them. I had been dreaming of something sweet all day (disappointed yet relieved that the kitchen's only contents consisted of a bag of brussels sprouts, an expired box of raisins, some balsamic vinegar, and calcium pills). It's like the universe heard my cry and delivered, but not without a hearty laugh.

Hopefully the rips were not iridium-induced.

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