Tuesday night at the Boy Scouts after the Court of Honor ceremony, snacks were being served. From across the room, the tray of dry cookies choked on sight–but wait: a tiered pyramid of Hershey’s milk chocolate bars—my favorite!! I love milk chocolate! I threaded my way through the crowd, acting polite and feigning interest in others whilst single-mindedly pursuing my sweets—but when I approached the table, though there were still plenty of dry cookies, only ONE Hershey chocolate bar remained…and two little uniformed scouts in front of me. What to do? Restrain myself to take turn in proper sequence? Or plow thru the little nippers and snag the sweet?


I held my breath and let fate have her way. The first child reached and grabbed…-a cookie! YES! He opted for the little dry chalk that looked enticing, but seasoned snacker eyes like mine could discern from five paces that biscotti dryness that no amount of beverage can saturate.


The second child’s little paw went up for the bar—turd!—but wait– passed OVER the chocolate and grasped a dry cookie on the back side of the tray. Yes! Quick! Out of my way! The candy was mine–but just as I reached out, trapped from behind, two arms around my shoulders strapped my arms to my side, a hail-fellow well met arm-inhibiting HUG from a man-cub. I feigned affectionate enjoyment while trying to twist out of his grip, —time slowed, I ‘hmmmmed’ in phony appreciation—and horror, watched a little gutter snipe slalom between us, swoop in, hoover for an nano-second of consideration, and snag the last candy bar. ARGHHH!!


–my arms blasted out of the hug, I turned on the man and said, ‘You stupid sluggard! You’ve RUINED MY SNACKTIME!! I could KILL YOU!!!! PREPARE TO DIE!’


But no…I continued to ‘hmmm’ in feigned appreciation of his extraordinarily ill-timed affection which, of course, was really intended for his own good: he just wanted a hug, and, not getting any, gave one instead. By the snack bar. Towards which he reached over me and grabbed a cookie.


Let this be a lesson to you: never get between a big bellied knave and the objects of his confection. Save the niceties for after they’ve snacked, or forever be the object of their smoldering resentment.


When I got home I told my wife what happened; she called it a sign from God. ‘He’s telling you to restrain yourself, MR BELLY.’


I refuse to believe it, for were it so, I’d have to be annoyed with God. I chose instead to harbor earthly ill will against he who disarmed me, and save haloed niceties for the One Who Would Never Stand Between Me & My Chocolate.


He wouldn’t do that, would He? Right?….maybe?….