Doug Lewandowski column: Confessions of a cookie snatcher

Swiping a freshly baked cookie, especially the chocolate chip oatmeal variety, has to be undertaken with subtlety and good recon beforehand.

Hand in a Cookie Jar
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There’s a cookie snatcher in our house. I used to think it was the guy who lives in the basement who bangs the pipes when we first turn up the thermostat in the morning.

To set things straight, we really don’t have a basement dweller other than the annual fall mouse invasions. I don’t think any of those critters are big enough to carry a hammer for making noise. The only thief around here, I have to confess, is me.

Doug Lewandowski
Doug Lewandowski

Swiping a freshly baked cookie, especially the chocolate chip oatmeal variety, has to be undertaken with subtlety and good recon beforehand. Making a gluttonous grab after coming from outside after rearranging the leaves on the lawn, a silver-haired snatcher just can’t nick one, maybe two, or would you believe three morsels from the rack on the counter and expect an, “Eat as many as you want, dear.”

Giving in to temptation and snarfing down vast amounts of bite-sized treats doesn’t demonstrate respect for the baker or the bandit. There’s work, after all, that goes into the crafting of great treats and to gobble down the results in a disrespectful way violates the creator’s efforts and showcases a lack of discipline on the part of the scarfer.

But pilfering starts early and is refined over time. When Oreos were Oreos, before the addition of double doses of the creamy white filling jammed now between chocolate wafers, the only choices were orange at Halloween and mint at Christmas. Now that same cookie has about as many flavors to devour on the menu as your local corporate coffeehouse.


When I worked as a counselor/teacher in a modern high school years ago, the lunch ladies started before noon. So early in fact that they served breakfast, and, heaven forbid, fresh-baked chocolate M&M cookies. No day started well unless I made a pass through the food line to grab one (I paid for them, honest) and retreated to the faculty lounge.

When I went to conferences, both school, when I was working, and professional ones to update my skills, I was eager to sample the cookie menu when they were served midafternoon. Fortunately, there were options. I could handle peanut butter, oatmeal and sugar ones, but drew the line at raisins — too many of them when I was younger.

The problem of grabbing a cookie now and then is the migration of calories from the jar or a plastic bin to the waist of a senior citizen. When my Carhartts wear out and need replacement, somehow, some way, the waistline has gotten bigger.

There are, of course, ways of making sure that snatching and snarfing are held in check. One way is to have a militant baker standing by with a long-handled spatula to slap an offending hand. Can you imagine answering the nice nurse at the clinic who asks, “Do you feel safe at home?” and having to answer, “Not really, but it’s only dangerous when I pass through the kitchen.” Perhaps the best solution is taking the rewards from baking day to the freezer in the basement. But then what’s going to happen when I walk by the cold storage to watch Bulldog hockey in the rec room? The world is full of challenges.

Please feel free to contact Doug at with comments, feedback and suggestions for stories. They inspire and are always welcome.

Related Topics: DULUTH
Doug Lewandowski is a retired counselor, educator and psychologist.
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