Snicker Challenge

The prize, culprit, and plunder

         At a hotel a couple weeks ago, my little brother and I decided that it was a nice enough day to go for a splash in the outdoor pool. This generally meant me thinking up clever ways to break the “no diving” rule without breaking the “no diving” rule and him wading about the stairs in the shallow end. This is when I thought up a little challenge. Standing in the semi-middle of the pool, I balanced on one foot and pointed toward him with an outstretched arm. My goal was to mimic Michelangelo’s painting where God and man’s fingertips touch, or I just looked like an idiot; probably both. Still in this position, I told him that if he could touch my fingers, he’d win something.
         A grin stretched across his face in seconds. “What will you give me?” He was already leaving the safety of his stairs and hopping to the middle of the pool.

         We ruled out my laptop, bedroom, and twenty bucks real quick. But he knew there was still something in it for him and made it to my fingers. I backed into the deep end a little farther and dared a second time. He won again. A look from mom warned me not to inch back anymore, so we ended the game and began going over what he could choose as a prize. The choices were: fifty cents (a quarter for each time he won), an hour’s play on my computer (I’ll let you divide that), or something I bake. It took him a couple days to decide. He probably would’ve taken longer if I hadn’t decided that I didn’t want to be chained to him forever and gave him a deadline. This may surprise you, but he picked something I baked. His one request being that it had to have cinnamon in it. Immediately, I thought: snicker doodles.

         I used a sugar cookie recipe and rolled the dough balls in sugar cinnamon. Piece o’ cake. Piece o’ cake. . . the stupid things wouldn’t bake. They just kept spreading – out and out – never browning like they were supposed to. When the first batch appeared to get a teeny bit darker, I took them out. Something I’ve learned about cookies is that they’re soft and pale looking in the oven, but cool them off, they crackle and crumble. Maybe these were baked cookies in denial. I waited a couple minutes, put them on a rack to cool, and stuck the second batch in the oven. I tried a cookie. It was soft, but it wasn’t right. So I left the second batch in the oven a little longer. There really wasn’t anything else for me to do at that point. So, like any good daughter who uses her mom’s kitchen and doesn’t want to be yelled at for the mess later, I washed the dishes, announced the cookies “ready”, and watched as my family dug in. . .
         No one complained. Surprise! But I still wasn’t proud of the cookies, don’t know why. It’s not like they tasted horrible. But they had yellow spots in them. Like the egg yoke wasn’t mixed in properly. When my older brother made the same cookies, he had that problem too. I don’t know why that happens, but it annoys me. Does anyone out there know why this irritating little thing happens? Anyway, my story doesn’t end there. Here’s the true reason why I know my family liked them, more specifically, the reason why I know my brothers like them.

         I was in the backyard. I can’t remember if I was talking to the dog or simply enjoying the great outdoors, but after a while, it got colder, so I decided to go inside. I grabbed the door knob. Thud. That was the sound of me running into the door. Since I spend a lot of time outside, this wasn’t the first time I had been mistakenly locked out. I tried the side door to the garage, locked also. That was peculiar. Squinting, I covered my eyes to see through the window. Scrambling about the kitchen were two of my brothers. Each was shoving cookies in his face as fast as his esophagus could swallow and laughing hysterically like he was doing the naughtiest thing. Yellow chicken-pox cookies or no yellow chicken-pox cookies, they were still mine. I banged on the window, threatening them to let me in. That didn’t do much. They still wouldn’t unlock the door. They were kind enough to wave, though.
         I don’t know how many cookies they ate, but by the time I got my grandma’s attention to have her unlock the door for me, it was too late. There were only a couple left. Out of all my hard work, I only ate one of my own cookies. Brothers think they’re so funny.

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