I joked in my Toastmasters prez note about doing the responsible thing when I’m feeling down: eating Oreos and wishing for the glory days of the Cubs’ 2016 championship. Maybe we shouldn’t leave this in the realm of the joke. Maybe we should put this idea into production. Denial helps no one. Oreos and commiseration, however, move the mental health needle into green every time.
If you’re looking for reasons to pig out on Oreos, and you’re a sports fan of some variety, look no further than the record of your favorite lovable losers. Yes, I know your team is special. Maybe you’ve had mostly winning seasons, even a championship or two.
Whatever your stripes, for many people around the world, sports teams have broken your heart. It’s an abusive relationship. Time and time again they claim they’ll change, but then the superstars take too many shots instead of passing, the shot-callers throw too many passes instead of running the ball, and the sluggers swing at too many pitches instead of bunting or sacrificing. Promise, promise, promise. Hurt, hurt, hurt. The headlines change, but the results stay the same: disillusionment, drunkenness, office brawls, and returning to the scene of the crime for another round of having your hopes fucked raw.
With Oreos, you have none of these problems.
The chocolate cookie discs are stacked together in their sleeves, looking like used tires standing next to the road, side-by-side, supporting one another, holding their collective shape. Visual association, yes; flavor association, no; dependability association, no. Used tires present a chewing problem and a vulcanized poisoning problem. Also, they are apt to shred at highway speeds and send you into a ditch or tree, and from there, the beyond.
Oreos keep the scope of their application small. They look roughly the same as they did when they first hit the market. This is called brand recognition. Packaging aside, which has varied from the cute to the college-graduates-on-weed-got-a-hold-of-the-markers, the core product has remained the same: safe, dependable, like anything comprised of the best fat and sugar should be.
In my younger days, I would dedicate most Sunday afternoons to watching the Packers. Every Monday night when they were on that schedule. I watched and/or listened to every game, sometimes aided with the land-line phone in the church’s lobby. Church often overlapped the first couple quarters, so the land-line provided a life-line for call-in-score purposes.
Long live the smartphone. However, long live the anticipation that built when I had to wait for the phone service to deliver the score in its analog, halting tones, my hand growing slick against the back of the receiver as I pressed it too tightly against my ear, leaving me looking like I’d had my ears boxed for being caught doing untoward things with members of the church coven, things like holding hands.
Fickle are the young relationships built on hand-holding, oral sentiment passed from friend one to friend two to friend three to you, and notes written on actual ripped-from-the-coil lined paper and in ruby-red grapefruit-colored ink. Too many teenage girl emotions. Too much unpredictability. Too flat the curves of the calculus arcs in the B’s and O’s. A change to the derivative equation that decelerated ascension of the curving lines directly tied in to feelings and messaging. In other words, big, looping writing seemed to predict the mood of its writer. Small and neat, backseat base-rounding is a possibility; huge and looping, start budgeting for a new paint job on your Trans Am.
Not so with Oreos.
Your beloved (at least in your head) of two weeks takes up with the varsity star? Have a sleeve of Oreos. The Packers are down two touchdowns at the half to the Vikings, or, God forbid, the Bears?! Have two sleeves of Oreos. The Cubs take 108 years to win a championship in the modern era? Liquidate your IRA, pay the taxes, and buy shopping carts full of Oreos–some to celebrate, others to buoy your spirits and to preserve your body for the 216 years it will take for the good ol’ lovable losers to deliver another championship. Come on 2232.
If Oreos were a gesture, they would be a right arm bent at a right-angle, fist clenched and at mouth level, muscles flexed and slightly trembling, saying, We got this.