I come home from a brisk, refreshing morning workout. Burning those calories, working that core, doing all those things that infomercials tell me to do. I arrive home from the gym feeling healthy and energized. And virtuous, and self-congratulatory. Good job, Pirate. You can walk by everyone else today and hold your head high and think about how healthy healthy healthy you are, and how sad it is that all those other people are sad, saggy and sloth-like.
I set my gym bag down just inside the front door, and think for a moment.
Hmm. I'm hungry.
I could use a healthy snack. Something appropriate for a post-workout situation. I need to replenish some of those what-do-you-call-em, electrolytes? Endorphins? Dilithium crystals? I should have an apple. Or one of those great protein bars that taste like a combination of calcium and ass.
Hey... what's that big box over there on the table?
Well, what do you know. It's a carton of Girl Scout cookies. Oh yea, that's right. My daughter's a scout. And a few days ago, she and my wife filled a wagon with cookie boxes and peddled them around the neighborhood. (If you don't have a Girl Scout in your house, the way it works is, before you start selling, you back your car up to the the Super Magic Cookie Warehouse and they fill your trunk with all the cookies you're supposed to sell up front. The idea is that you'll sell more if you can deliver the product immediately upon purchase, rather than collect orders and deliver them later when the shipment arrives.)
I peek into the open box. Why, look at that. I guess Saucy and Mini-Pirate didn't sell all the boxes over the weekend. There appears to be an unpurchased box of Thin Mints left.
Well. Clearly, I'd be a selfish ass if I wasn't willing to contribute something.
I open the box of Thin Mints. For the cause.
Each box of Thin Mints contains two cellophane-wrapped columns of 16 cookies each.
I just worked out. I lifted heavy things and put them down again -- like a bunch of times in a row. Do I not deserve one Thin Mint?
Sure I do. And so I open one column, pluck out one cookie: thin, elegant, savory. I eat it carefully, and I enjoy it to the fullest: the chocolate coating, the crisp break of the minty cookie that crumbles into my mouth. Delicious. And I'm pretty sure there's a hearty helping of electrolytes in a Thin Mint. I think I read an article about that.
Mm. Very good. A good snack. Well done. Ok then.
I start to wrap up the tower of cookies and put it back in the box with its twin, when it occurs to me that these individual Thin Mints are really very thin. Super thin. Like, they're barely even a whole cookie. In fact, it would probably take three Thin Mints to equal one regular-sized cookie. Which means if I eat two more, I'm really only finishing up one cookie, right?
I eat two more.
Delicious. My fingers have faint chocolately smudges on them. Which I will wash off. After I have one more cookie.
Did I say one more? I meant three more. That's so funny how that happens.
Within two minutes, half of the first cookie column is gone. And it occurs to me as I look at the remaining half, that it's just silly to put half a column back in the box. If you're going to have a snack, have a snack, am I right? And I ate those first eight Thin Mints so quickly that I probably burned as many calories as I would've gained eating them in the first place. PLUS, I'm still sort of sweaty from working out, which means my body's metabolism is still clicking at a higher, post-exercise pace for a few more minutes anyway. That's not an opportunity one should squander.
A few minutes later, I look down at an empty cellophane wrapper and realize I've just eaten one whole column of Thin Mints. That's 16 of them. Wow. That was fast. How'd that happen?
You know what's lame? leaving a box of cookies with one remaining column rattling around in it. Who does that? I mean, it makes no sense.
Fifteen more minutes pass. That's when I realize I've just eaten an entire box of Thin Mints. 32 cookies in less time than it takes to watch a sitcom. 32 is 32, even if they're pretty thin.
Urp. I'm not proud of what just happened. I definitely just undid whatever good might otherwise have come from my morning workout. Plus I don't feel so good. My stomach is too full, and not with a bounty of nutrients and electrolytes. I'm feeling jittery, weighed down, and my teeth are black with crumbs. I'm shaking. I think I might have the Cookie Madness.
But it was for a good cause, I try to remind myself shakily. I have to remember to put some money in Mini-P's cookie envelope. I'm paying for her and her fellow scouts to do something awesome someday, I know -- maybe this money will help them go to space camp. I tell myself I just did a good thing.
I go to fetch some money from my wallet when I pass by that open carton again.
Hey, that wasn't the last box of Thin Mints at all....
God help me.