Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Friday, December 12, 2014


I brought this one back from last year.  It is revised.  I brought it back just for the holiday.  It is a cautionary true story!  Hope you enjoy!

Beware of Oatmeal Cookies!
If you want to eat some cookies, any cookies, beware!  Before devouring a few, please, please pause and ask yourself some of the following questions:

1.         Did I make these cookies by hand?
2.         Did someone else make these cookies?
3.         Do you know what ingredients were used in the      making of your cookie?

If you answered no to question number one, yes to question number two, and no to question number three you could be in quite a disgusting quagmire.  Proceed with caution and then continue reading at your own risk.

If you answered yes to question number two, and no to question three then do you know firsthand what kind of ingredients your mom, aunt, cousin, friend or maybe co-worker used?  Do these cookies taste like no other?  Are they the best you ever, ever ate in your life?  Have you asked for the recipe?  Was the person reluctant to give up the goods or the secret recipe?  Did they say that the ingredients were all natural?  If you answered yes to some or most of the questions above and it was an out-there co-worker, then you might be suffering through a severe case of ignorance. Be prepared to gag.  Please be make sure you know where the nearest trash receptacle or restroom is located.  You might just be making a trip soon.  Wanna get away?  This is definitely a trip you want to cancel! Trust me on this one.

I am relatively sure, that after you hear about what happened to one of Houston's best librarians, you might want to reconsider tasting any oatmeal raisin cookie and choose an alternative.

When this media specialist finished telling me this unbelievable and crude story, I began making plans to ban oatmeal cookies from my future diet. The only viable alternative is for me to bake them myself. I rarely bake so I took what she said very seriously. You just never know.  I am just sayin'.

My librarian friend, with a very straight face, told me this true story today. Honestly, this really happened. It is one of those stories that you just can’t make up. Never. She recounted that she had worked in another part of the country near Virginia in a junior high school.  On the staff was slightly touched art teacher.  She was very nice, but had some strange quirks about her. She dressed like a flower child and loved Mother Earth. She was organic before Whole Food existed.  Lily, I shall call her, lived a very organic lifestyle.  Everything from the land was appreciated and utilized.  I am sure her diet could have rivaled the Paleo diet, in our postmodern world.  Lily was very generous and a proud baker.  Every week, without question, Lily of the Fields brought in plates of the best oatmeal cookies.  The staff scarfed them down, without a care in the world.  "Man, did you taste one of Lily's creations?" one staff member would ask. "Are you kidding me?  I had four before lunch!"  Everyone was so happy in this little educational community.  The entire staff raved about Lily's cookies.  One day, an unsuspecting librarian asked Lily for the recipe in hopes of replicating this culinary masterpiece. "That's top secret!" she said with a big toothy smile. "I use all natural ingredients.  I go back to nature. Always back to nature." she stated with such satisfaction and pride. "Oh, okay," replied the naive library lady.  She didn’t even give it a second thought. “The cookies are good. At least the ingredients are healthy,” she thought.

One afternoon, Lily invited the librarian to have lunch with her, during the weekend. "We can have green tea with dandelions. Hey, I will have my cookies ready! This will be such fun, fun, fun!” exclaimed Lily.  The librarian was a happy- go- lucky type of person who enjoyed experiencing different cuisine, especially when it was considered to be nutricious.  "Green tea?  Dandelions? Okay, I am game!” Lily responded happily.  

The next Saturday the loopy librarian knocked on Lily's door.  Lily answered the door and invited the librarian inside.  The aroma of incense mixed with the deliciously moist oatmeal cookies filled the air.  "Come over to my dining room table."  The librarian sat down and kept her eyes fixed on the many candles that decorated every corner of Lily's apartment, along with four purple sparkly lava lamps.   Janis Joplin roared out of the speakers. “Tea?” asked Lily.  "Okay, then! I would love some green tea with Marigolds...I mean dandelions," mumbled the book lady. "Here, have some dandelion tea and some of my popular oatmeal cookies," said Lily with a sparkle in her eye and enthusiasm in her voice.

Lily then walked quickly over to the oven and opened the oven door.  Some kind of strange odor filled the air.  "What are you baking?" the book lady asked half nervous and half curious.  "Oh, come over here and see for yourself."  Lily carefully placed an aluminum pan onto the of the stove top.  The librarian walked over to such horror.  She could not believe her eyes. She gasped and tried not to show her true feelings. "Oh, my!" she whispered under her breath.  The librarian felt faint and queasy at the same time, but held herself up by grabbing hold of the refrigerator door handle.  Right before her very eyes was an extremely disgusting sight.  In rows of four, very precisely placed on a shiny aluminum pan, lay twelve crusty, half baked, red colored cockroaches on their backs.  Their antennae was burnt to a crisp.  "Aren't they just lovely to behold?"  The librarian lady had no words. No words… nothing. There was nothing she could say. It was as if she was placed on mute. Slowly she tried to catch her breath. Finally, after an extremely long awkward silence, these words slowly emerged from her mouth,"Waaahhhaaattt are you  do…do… do…ing with those baked ca-ca-cockroaches?"

Lily looked over at the librarian and noticed that she had turned very pale. "Are you okay?" she asked. "Come sit down at the table!" The librarian stumbled to the dark brown antique chair located next to the bamboo kitchen table. "I am going to crush them down in my ceramic pharmacist's bowl and then grind down to a powder-like form. I then will add them to my secret oatmeal cookie recipe,” said Lily so pleased with herself. "You mean you add bits and pieces of cockroaches to your "secret recipe" of those moist and delicious oatmeal cookies?"  Lily smiled with pride.  "Yes, why of course! That is what makes them so chewy and moist!  I will make some more in a little while.  Perhaps you would like to help me?  Oh, won't it be such fun?" The kind librarian lady was beside herself.  She didn't know quite how to respond. Her mouth grew drier than the Sierra Desert. Then she muttered, "Um…um…I…I.. am not sure if I can...can.” Lily interrupted the sorry librarian before she could get her words out, "Let's sit down and have some tea and oatmeal cookies.  I have warm ones on the table! I took them out of the oven just a few minutes ago. I read that cockroaches not only add flavor, but they are super high in protein.  You can never have enough protein, you know?" Lily bit into her cookie and smiled with pride.

The librarian smiled an anxious and uncomfortable smile, while desiring to flee the funky freak show.  "What have I gotten myself into?  How am I going to eat an oatmeal cookie with cockroach parts and drink green dandelion tea with who knows what else it has in it?" she thought to herself.  "Well, you know that I ate a very big lunch with my mother today.  I don't know if I have enough room for your delicious cookies,” stated the lowly librarian, half ready to hurl.

"Sure you do! Why I made these especially for you!" Lily bellowed with a great inviting smile, as she pushed the plate of roasted cockroach oatmeal cookies toward the librarian. "Besides, I know your mama didn't raise a rude daughter! Wasn't it you who told the entire staff how great my cookies were?  Now you know why!  Isn't that great? Have one, or two, or three. Don’t be shy!"

"You are right.  Mama raised me right. I…I...I am sort of fa-fa-fa fond of your oatmeal cookies," stated the poor librarian, as she bit reluctantly into the oatmeal cookie. This would be the last oatmeal cookier that she would ever eat. Bite by bite, the thought of cockroach guts, beady little eyes and pincers made her stomach turn three hundred and sixty degrees and back. Chills engulfed her and every hair on her body stood on end. If only, if only she had the intestinal fortitude to say no to those cockroach delights.  Not that day. Nope.  How could she?  She didn't want to seem rude, refusing to eat after Lily slaved over the stove all day. Terrible thoughts and questions flooded her mind. "How did she catch the cockroaches? Were they from her apartment? Better yet, does she have a cockroach farm? How am I going to eat this without gagging? I need to get out of here quick. I need an excuse fast.  Think…think…think!" Bite by bite she trudged along.  She swallowed and swallowed staving off any impulse to gag and hurl the contents of her stomach. Amazingly enough she maintained perfect outward tranquility. Rude? Never. That just wasn’t a part of her character.  No, she would just have to take her medicine, albeit a rather grotesque blend of cockroach innards, accompanied by the firm texture of an exoskeleton. Just the thought of cockroach pieces plastering themselves on the roof of her mouth or  between her pearly white teeth, made the poor, pathetic librarian cringe and cringe some more.  It took every ounce of civility to prevent the book lady from screaming bloody murder and flying out of the apartment like Palmetto Tree Cockroaches into the night. How she maintained a calm demeanor is beyond belief. This librarian lady, finished the entire cookie, smiled as the cockroach connoisseur proceeded to impress her with in depth research into the nutritional value of cockroach consumption.  Any concerns that someone might have about the ill effects of the pesticides on the cockroaches were alleviated. According to Lily, if you bake them at four hundred and forty degrees or more, then the pesticide residue is baked off of the cockroaches.  "Oh, that's good to know," the librarian replied, pretending to feel relieved.  "I think it is time to go now," the library lady whispered and gasped. "Won't you stay a little longer?" Lily asked. "Would you like to take home a plate of my cookies to your mother?"
“O-okay…sure. She would love them.” The library lady walked out the door, and then walked quietly down the hallway and then made a mad dash for her car. She drove away rather quickly and discarded the cookies on the road, as she drove frantically to her house. She opened her front door to her house and screamed, “Never ever again will I eat another oatmeal cookie!” She gagged and then ran to her bathroom.

Could this situation have been avoided?  Should she have even suspected that someone would add cockroach flavoring to an otherwise delicious oatmeal cookie?  It gives us reason to pause.  That was definitely a hard lesson to learn, much less stomach.

It just goes to show you, if you don't know what people put into their homemade cookies, brownies or cakes, you might be chowing down on some critters. Be inquisitive and ask questions, lots of questions.  You can only be sure, if you make the cookies or cakes by your lonesome.  You have the power to decide which insects to exclude in the recipe. At a Thanksgiving Feast and it is pot luck?  You still have the wherewithal to dine or ditch, even if the food looks delectable and are to die for. Again, I caution you, beware!  Beware of people who bring baked gifts for the holidays, especially if they are all natural or organic.  As Elmer Fudd likes to say, " Be careful…be very careful." Also, be extremely cautious of people touting the secret recipe. The secret may be more than you can stomach…on so many levels. This makes me wonder about Kentucky Fried Chicken and Bush's Baked Beans! Secret Recipe?  Oh, my!  That trusting Golden Retriever on the Bush's Baked Beans commercials, surely has a secret to tell.  What kind of vermin is Bush hiding in the family recipe?  Who knows?  Last thought…please beware if you are like the poor, poor Edmund from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and you happen to bite into a Turkish Delight that contains raisins. YES, RAISINS! Seriously now! Are they really raisins? It gives you something to strongly consider, right? Just sayin'. Think about it! BEWARE of OATMEAL COOKIES!

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