While taking a Creative Writing class in college, I was asked by the professor to spend an hour each day writing fiction. It could be about anything I wanted. The point of the exercise was to get used to writing on a daily basis. After many years of being lost on one of my thumb drives, I have recovered them.
Monday and Tuesday
We live in a time of professionals. As children, we want to grow up to be policemen, firemen, astronauts, actors, ballerinas, and of course, any kind of athlete. We want to be heroes, and sometimes superheroes. The following is a tale of a profession that has not existed for nearly a century. During its short existence, it provided the masses with a service that brought happiness to all corners of the globe. It should have been one the greatest success stories in human history, but it fell victim to the very saying that it created.
Most humans with taste buds know the satisfaction that comes from biting into a good cookie. Peter Crumb, a British schoolteacher during the late 19th century, appreciated the taste of cookies more than any normal person should. He spent his weekends perfecting the old family recipe, which called for four sticks of butter and a half pound of chocolate. On one occasion he was found passed out on the floor after consuming nearly a full pound of batter. The next day he ate six cookies.
Peter would have been just another man with a sweet tooth if not for a student named Bill Lewis. Peter brought in a batch of cookies to class every Monday, which brought a little sunshine to the children. On one particular day he placed them on the floor in order to clear some room on his desk. After no more than thirty seconds he heard the sound of a box being flattened. Bill Lewis slowly lifted his foot from the now crushed container, and turned to face the wrath of his peers.
“Now wait a minute students,” Peter said. “A cookie in pieces tastes just as good as a cookie whole.” Brushing off the mud from Bill’s shoe, Peter opened the box to find all them smashed. “I suppose what we’ll do is reach in for a handful.” After sharing with the students, Peter took some for himself.
The taste of crumbled cookies elevated Peter to dessert heaven. From that moment on, he vowed to spread his newly discovered joy to all the people of the world.
When he told his wife that he wanted to open up a cookie crumbling shop, she responded, “That’s an awful idea. Who would pay for broken cookies?”
“Don’t think of them as broken. Think of them as reborn, like the phoenix.”
It took nearly two months of convincing, but Peter’s wife inevitably came to support her husband. They built a modest cookie stand on one of the busier street corners. The sign read, Crumb’s Cookies, which Peter decided was divine providence since a man cannot choose his own name. On the menu were four varieties, including chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and sugar. No one requested anything other than whole cookies that first week.
Walking to the cookie stand, one day after school Peter came up with a solution to his crumbling problem. He removed the sign and replaced it with a new one, which read Crumb The Cookie Crumbler. Immediately, people asked about crumbling, and Peter sold out his entire batch. This was the beginning of the phenomenon.
Peter was able to upgrade his stand to an actual store within the first six months of sales. People from all over Great Britain came to taste his special brand of crumbled delights. By the next year Peter and his wife were living the high life with more and more shops spreading throughout Europe. Everyone raved about “the greatest invention since the cookie.” But, like with most fast rises to fame, the Crumb’s, along with their shops, soon fell hard.