As my mind wanders, I tend to do peculiar things with my tongue. This particular day, somewhere amid my 8-bit boxing career (007-373-5963) this subconscious habit had caused a significant shift in my mouth – which in turn, merited an announcement. For my achievement I was to reap some pretty fantastic rewards.
Frances loved these things and always seemed to have at least three boxes of them on hand, across her two available freezers. It was as if every time Salvatore went to Cumberland Farms to fill up the tank of his AMC Concord (Rhode Island registration SR-265), he would cop a few bushels-full, per her request.
There is something irresistible about the way the surface area of the cookie-cake adheres to everything it comes in contact with – wax-paper-like wrapper, chubby seven year old fingertips, roof of one’s mouth – glorious.
Returning to the upper-floor, I informed my parents of the bargaining agreement I had entered into with my grandmother and great uncle (whose impromptu pop-ins had become commonplace since my grandparents moved from the 3rd floor of Sears Ave to the basement-level of Doyle Drive) and immediately got to work. It may have been all of twenty minutes before I gave up and returned to my video game.
“Doc can’t help you now…”, Bald Bull taunted. I was clearly distracted. A quick bathroom break lead to an ingenious new approach. “What if I just tell them it fell out?”, I thought to myself.
Over to the telephone I rushed, dialing the landline that would connect me to the floor just below where I stood (353-6893 – that’s nothing, I still have Gian Benedetti – 353-3893, Eric Carnevale – 353-5459 and about 15 other numbers that I haven’t called in over twenty years, lodged in here). I could literally hear the phone ringing underfoot. “Yell-ow” a voice called out. “Hi papa, I pulled it out”, I was lying. “Alright, come down before Uncle Mike leaves”. Click. This was too easy.
What my naive act of deception had failed to consider was the possibility of having to provide physical proof in support of my claim.
Back downstairs, I coyly hid my make-believe evidence in a clenched fist behind me. “How ’bout it kid?”, my grandfather’s next youngest and unquestionably closest sibling snarled, as I continued my stare-down of the tattered Abe Lincoln note in his outstretched, spinach-pie-like hand. Silence.
In a panic, I rushed to their toilet, turning on the light switch (which for some reason was located on the outside of the room) and locked the door. Without hesitation this time I reached in with my thumb and forefinger and gave the problematic premolar quite the pull. I will spare the two paragraphs worth of bloody details that I had intended on describing right about here and will just say it came out – I could finally claim my prize, legitimately.
To this day I can still recall the sensation – the throbbing, the sting, the void – securely sealed shut by a sticky coat of chocolate. I too enjoy ice cream sandwich (sic).