Every Christmas as a child and into adulthood my mother and I had an annual anise cookie baking marathon. She'd roll the dough and make the cut-outs. I'd decorate with the plethora of sprinkles and dyed sugar crystals that sat in the back of the cupboard for the rest of the year.
Several years ago, still learning appropriate boundaries (and let's face it, who isn't still), my older sister and I were participating in the ritual together. The usual decorating of cookies somehow seemed less exciting than in childhood, so we took instead to crafting our own confectionery shapes. My mother carried on with her usual task of rolling and cutting while we pilfered spare dough to construct poor likenesses of various bits of human anatomy.
Late at night, tired, and possibly a little bit inebriated, we were finishing the last batches and out came the prize of the night: the best man unit cookie we'd ever made.
The problem anyone faces in these circumstances is evident to anyone who's ever experienced a similar situation. What do you do with such a creation? In our infinite wisdom we decided to place it in our sleeping father's room, an offering we were sure would make for a humorous wake up.
The following day I waited for the chiding but heard nothing. Weeks past, years went by, and still nothing. I'd always wondered about it, thinking I'd overstepped the mark, feeling a little bit guilty all the while, until this Christmas when my sister and I plucked up the nerve to ask him about that cockie (I came up with that all by myself; me, the failed comedian).
He didn't know what we were talking about.
All that time and he didn't know what we were talking about. Then it dawned on me that my dad, the man who lives off of coffee, peanut butter, and chocolate ice cream (and adds sugar to sugary cereal), probably took no notice of shape nor form. I bet he woke up to pee, ate a random cookie, and went promptly back to sleep.