The Cookie Rule
One of my brothers attended Cornell — ever heard of it? While he was there, my uncle visited to adjudicate at the law school’s moot court competition. My brother snuck up to the bench where my uncle would be hearing the arguments and left a little note at his spot on the dais —
The following case may be relevant to today’s proceedings —
P— vs State of New Jersey (1937) in which the “cookie rule” was established.
The Cookie Rule clearly states that cookies must be consumed in the following proportion: two plain cookies for every filled one.
I remember my uncle telling my father the story and roaring with laughter. My grandfather, my father, my uncle — they all love to laugh.
And I love to hear it.
But the cookie rule was new to me at that point. My mother never instituted it, although my father had grown up with it. His mother had come up with a way to control cookie consumption — two plain cookies for every filled.
All this flashed through my mind yesterday when I brought my father his “sweet” to eat after lunch.
My father definitely has a sweet tooth, and every meal (except breakfast) is followed by something sweet. After lunch, it’s usually a cookie, and after dinner, it’s usually ice cream.
Okay, I confess — I like them, too.
So, I brought this brand-new package of Oreos to him and said, “Dad, would you like a cookie?”
His eyes lit up. “I think I would,” he said.
I peeled back the flap to reveal the treasure, and he reached in to take one.
“Could I have two?” he asked — and suddenly, I saw in front of me a little boy asking permission to break a rule. His eyes sparkled as he looked up at me hopefully.
“Yes, you can have two,” I said.
He smiled and pulled two cookies out of the package.
Douglas MacArthur said, “You are remembered for the rules you break.”
I’m sure my father will be remembered for much more than this, but I’ll treasure that look he had as he took two filled cookies.