Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Christmas Cookies (They're Man Made!)

When I taught preschool, Christmastime meant cookies. Parents brought them. Some were homemade: chocolate chip, oatmeal, maybe even peanut butter. Some were shortbread tins. Once in awhile we'd even get a tin of fancy cookies: the kind that came with embossed chocolate coating.
One year Otto's mom presented us with an Oreo holiday tin. Kids rode sleighs, built snowmen and ice skated on the lid. Mmmm I thought. Oreos! I cracked open the box.
These weren't Oreos.
A ramshakle pile of animal-like shapes nested inside: Red, blue, yellow, green and as bright as Play-Doh. The dye bled into the paper towel beneath them.
"We made them," Otto's mom said. "They're sugar cookies. Try one!"
I picked up a blue one. It was like picking up an ink pad. Blue oozed onto my fingers. Then I noticed the glitter. Not cake sprinkles, but metallic craft glitter! And it had a plastic googley eye!
"We spent all afternoon making them," she added. "They're really good!"
This reminded me of the scene from Eraserhead where the Henry's invited to dinner and served an oozing Cornish game hen with kicking legs. The host boasts "We got chicken tonight. Strangest damn things! They're man made! Little damn things. Smaller than my fist, but they're new!"
If she thinks plastic and glitter are edible, what else might be in them? I wondered.
"They look delicious," I lied, eying the mutant cookie like it was a rare gem. "I'll save them for after dinner."


Sally said...

eeks, dangerous waters in preschool. hope the lady hasn't moved on to a catering career!

Namowal said...

Hi Sally,
Weird, huh?
The irony is that school didn't even use glitter for crafts because they were concerned that it might get in a kid's eye or inhaled. And here's this nutty mom who's baking it into cookies!

stray said...

funny! I'll bet there's a lot of stuff people bring teachers that they can't actually eat / use.

booda baby said...

A well crafted tale of holiday horrors. Really, that was nicely written. It's never too early to start with the diplomacy. :)

Linda said...

Sounds like some of my treats.

Namowal said...

Hi Stray,
I've gotten a few inedible offerings from kids- mud pies or bowls of leaves- but this is the first one endorsed by a parent.
Thanks booda baby,
I'm picturing mealtime at the family. "Soup's too bland... ...please pass the glitter..."
Hi Linda,
Had they been your treats they'd be artfully arranged. These came in a dye-oozing heap. I didn't know there was that much food coloring in the world.