Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Cookie Monster not a cookie lover anymore

By Deana Nall
Baytown Sun

Published April 13, 2005

I was betrayed by an old friend last week. An old, furry, googly-eyed friend.

Cookie Monster, the somewhat emotionally unstable, yet loveable, Muppet from Sesame Street, decided to get healthy. The socially-conscious folks at Sesame Street, alarmed at the rise in childhood obesity, put Cookie on a diet.

Cookie Monster and I go way back. I’ve been a Sesame Street fan since the show was just a couple of years old. I grew up enjoying “Monsterpiece Theater,” in which Cookie Monster, as “Alastair Cookie,” hosted plays such as “Chariots of Fur.” I was quite the cultured child.

But the best thing about Cookie Monster was that you could pretty much count on him to flip out over something and eat a truckload of cookies every time he appeared on TV. Until last week. Now the big blue guy is toning it down. He’s telling kids about healthy food choices in his new song titled “Cookies are a Sometimes Food.”

Let me tell you something about real life, people. Cookies are not a “sometimes” food. They are an “any time you need them food.” And, sometimes, that’s all the time.

I’m a big believer in cookie therapy. If you are one of my two faithful readers, you will notice that this is the second column I have devoted to cookies in the last two months. Cookies have seen me through a lot in my 30-something years. And they can work for you, too.

Anything from Nabisco will cover everyday stresses. Waiting in line at the pharmacy for 20 minutes with a fussy 7-month-old? A bag of Oreos will calm you down nicely. Is the baby teething? Better go for the Double Stufs.

But when something big happens, like your in-laws pulling into the driveway for a surprise visit at the same time the school nurse calls to say your child just threw up something that appears to be a vital organ, you’re going to have to pull out the big guns — commercially known as “Pepperidge Farm.” I typically choose to drown my sorrows in the Milanos, which are dark chocolate squished between two shortbread cookies; or the Sausalitos, glorified chocolate chip cookies with macadamia nuts.

“You’ll love our Pepperidge Farm cookies,” says the company’s official Web site. “Down to the very last crumb.” I think even that’s an understatement. Sometimes, when the crumbs are gone, I’m tempted to eat the little ruffled white papers the cookies came in. Hey, Cookie Monster would have done it.

We grown-ups aren’t the only ones who are stressed out. Our kids are, too. They are constantly being told to do well in school, mind their manners, remember their library books, clean their plates, clean up after themselves, go to bed on time and get up on time.

Cookie Monster has always let kids know that they don’t have to be perfect all the time. They can slip up sometimes and eat more than a few cookies. That’s why I loved the guy the way he was.

Cookie Monster taught me a long time ago that “C” is for cookie. That’s good enough for me. If it’s good enough for you, please sign the online petition at

Please help save Cookie Monster. Before he gets too healthy.

Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is


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