It was a dark and stormy night.
Okay, so it was dark because the sun went down. And it wasn’t exactly stormy but it was probably raining off and on because it did that a lot last week.
Mark and Jake had already been gone for a few days, off fishing with Brad and a group of other dads and sons. It had been a long day at work and I was happy it was Friday with an entire weekend stretching out ahead of me. Kacey was off on a date with Connor and I had the house and the Netflix menu all to myself.
I was immersed in an episode of my latest Netflix addiction. This one has eight or so seasons, so no chance of running out of things to watch anytime soon. I was prepared to watch until I could no longer keep my eyes open. Suddenly, as so often happens in the evenings when I’ve settled in and relaxed, a sugar craving struck me. The food supplies had dwindled. They don’t last long with an extra kid home for the summer along with her boyfriend who all but lives here. But I was pretty sure there was still a package of Mint Oreos hanging around. I paused my show and wandered into the kitchen to go forage in the snack cupboard where I discovered there were, in fact, a good supply of the mint-creme filled sandwich cookies.
I grabbed a few and headed back to my comfy chair in the living room, diving right back into my show. I enjoyed my first cookie in two bites. YUM! I do love Mint Oreos. And very quickly after the first was gone, took a bite out of the second cookie. As I was immersed in the drama on television, it took me a moment to realize that something was not right with the cookie. It didn’t immediately break apart as I bit into it. There seemed to be a reluctance on the part of the creme filling to separate in half. It was almost as if the filling had hardened into a leathery, fruit roll-up type substance. It occurred to me that something wasn’t right and I lunged out of the chair and straight to the kitchen wastebasket, spitting the remains of my cookie into the trash. I was vaguely aware that I should probably throw the remainder of the package away too, or at least inspect the cookies to see if we got a bad batch, but I was lured back to my show and the cookies went forgotten for the time being. Sometime later that evening, I awoke in my comfy chair having fallen asleep in the midst of another episode. I dragged myself to bed and didn’t think about the cookies again.
Saturday arrived and I was busy. I started my day with a walk outside with Lucy. Then I cleaned house and did laundry and finally showered sometime after noon. I was just getting ready to dry my hair when Connor arrived to hang out with Kacey. As boys his age often are, he was hungry. He knows where to find the frozen pizza and he took one out and preheated the oven.
Connor was finishing his pizza just about the time my hair was dried and I was presentable to leave the house. I announced that I was going to pick up a few necessities at Target. Kacey said, “I’ll go with you.”
I looked at Connor, wondering if he would tag along too, but he informed me he would stay at the house and keep Lucy company while we picked up what we needed. I’m sure his stomach needed a rest anyway after he had eaten almost an entire pizza on his own. Kacey and I weren’t gone long and were back home again within a half hour. As we were unpacking our purchases, Connor watched a ball game on t.v.
“Hey,” he said, getting our attention. “Did either of you two happen to eat a Mint Oreo that tasted kind of funny?”
“No, why,” Kacey asked?
“Maybe,” I said, eyeing Connor with suspicion. “I had a couple of cookies last night. One of them didn’t feel right so I spit it out before I could taste it.” As I was talking, it was dawning on me that Connor definitely knew something about the funky cookie. He loves to play practical jokes, especially on Kacey and Mark.
“Connor, what did you do?” I was suddenly very creeped out with the fear of what he could possibly have done to that cookie. I had put it in my mouth! I couldn’t even imagine what he might have done and why, but I was assuming the worst.
“Connor Dane, YOU TELL ME RIGHT NOW!” Connor was looking sheepish while simultaneously trying to hide his smile and I couldn’t help but laugh. I was hit with the full realization that Connor had somehow tampered with one of the cookies. He must have checked the package of cookies while we were gone and saw that someone had fallen victim to his prank.
Connor was fast-talking now, trying to justify what he had done. “I thought Mark was the only one who ate Mint Oreos…”
Kacey interjected, “My dad is probably the only one who doesn’t eat Mint Oreos!”
Connor continued, “So I opened up one of the cookies and squeezed toothpaste into it. Then I put it back together and stuck it in the middle of the package.” (The cookies were gone just about to the middle of the package when I had taken a few. I definitely got the toothpaste cookie.)
“CONNOR,” I yelled with mock indignation. “You are SO lucky I didn’t actually eat that cookie!”
“Yeah, Connor,” Kacey chimed in! “What were you thinking?” My dad’s gone for five days! Next time you try to play a trick on him, you might want to make sure he’s actually here to be your victim.”
Clearly, Connor is not a very smart practical joker, but we love him so I’ll forgive him. Mark got a good laugh when he heard how I’d become the unsuspecting victim of the ridiculous prank. As for me, just as soon as I can figure out how to make Connor unknowingly eat a brussels sprout, I will consider us even!