Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Entry #14

May 11th, 2009 by Wordsman


Jon was in a good mood.  It was the weekend, and his midterm exams were finally over, so he had absolutely nothing to worry about for a couple of days.  No homework, no reading, no studying, no papers.  His freedom had made him lighthearted, at times almost giddy.  For the first time in weeks he was able to smile rather than grimace, greet people pleasantly, and laugh at all . . .

. . . which was precisely why Dave and Jordan were so concerned.  They had never seen Jon like this before.  The Jon they knew was permanently grouchy.  Jon was supposed to stomp.  Jon was supposed to yell.  Jon was supposed to be surrounded by a “No-Fun Zone” twenty-four hours a day.  But ever since he had gotten out of class two days ago, none of those regular events had occurred even once.  It was like turning on your favorite TV program to discover that one of the actors has been replaced; they had no idea what to expect.

The most unusual thing was the box of cookies that had appeared on the kitchen counter that morning.  “I don’t get it,” said Dave.  “Where did these come from?”  Dave and Jordan did all their own shopping, because their tastes did not mesh well with Jon’s.  He liked yogurt and vegetables and things that had soy in them but weren’t soy sauce; their five food groups were meat, dessert, dairy, starch, and meat again, in that order.  The idea that Jon would bring chocolate chip cookies to the apartment was almost inconceivable.

“They look homemade,” Jordan noted as he peered through the box’s transparent sides.  This, too, did not fit the profile of the Jon they were familiar with.  As far as they knew, he had no cooking abilities whatsoever.  Since he was always in a hurry, he survived primarily on meals that required no preparation more complicated than a minute or two in the microwave.  The apartment had an oven, but they had never seen him use it.  And yet . . . there the cookies were.

“Well,” Dave said, after the two of them had spent a minute or two in silent contemplation of the baked goods, “I guess we can try one.”

“Wait!” Jordan cried.  “Your carelessness will be your undoing!”

“Wh-what?” asked Dave.  “What are you talking about?”

“Don’t you see?  This could all be a trap!”

“Trap?”  Dave sounded quite puzzled.  “They’re just cookies . . .”

“No,” said Jordan in a firm tone.  “You’re missing the point.  It’s not just the cookies.  His whole attitude has changed.  It’s all connected.  He’s been acting nice to us just to lure us into a false sense of security.  Then he puts this box of cookies here, as if it was a gift to make up for all the troublesome ordeals he’s put us through.  Not suspecting any foul play, we eat the cookies, and then we will have played right into his hands.  It is the perfect snare.”

“Hmm,” Dave said thoughtfully.  “He does know that we like cookies.”

“And that we would most likely be unable to restrain ourselves when presented with free ones,” Jordan added.

“I still don’t see what the trap could be, though.”

“Does Jon not seem like the type to resort to poisoning his enemies?”

“Poison?  Come on.  You’ve gotta be kidding.”

“Am I?  So are you willing to try eating one, then?  You think there’s even a possibility that he wouldn’t take this perfect opportunity to destroy us, after all the difficulties we’ve caused for each other?  Do you trust him with your life?”

Dave hesitated.  “Well . . . I guess we can’t even really be sure that it was Jon that put them here.  It could have been anybody.  I’m not going to eat something that just anyone could have left here.”

“A wise choice.”

“But . . . now I’m hungry.”

“Me too.  Should we go out to get something?”

“Alright, but you’re buying, because you’re the one that decided we weren’t going to eat the cookies.”

“If you want to stay here and risk eating a poisoned cookie, be my guest . . .”

Jon chuckled.  He had heard the entire conversation.  Normally his door was closed at all times other than when he was walking through the doorway, but once his exams were over he no longer had any need to seal himself into a cocoon for studying purposes, so he left it open.  He had originally done it to help improve the airflow, but as it turned out there were other benefits as well.  Sure, the walls and floors were thin, but if the door wasn’t open he might not have been able to hear all the details of his roommates’ silliness.

He went downstairs to investigate the mysterious cookie box once he heard them leave the apartment.  Jon knew that he had not left it there, and after hearing his usually greedy roommates convince themselves not to eat the free cookies he was very curious to find out who had.  There was no note on the container itself, nor could he see one anywhere on the counter nearby.  He could not remember anyone having visited the apartment recently, nor could he think of anyone who would have a particular reason to bring cookies for them.  Thinking that there might be a note inside the box that they were too afraid to open, he lifted the lid.

Jon heard a soft SNAP, followed by a brief hissing noise.  After that he was distracted by an unbearably horrible smell that came out of the box.  As he ran back to his room, he thought, “So it was a trap.”

Jon may not have bothered to stick around to look, but as it turned out there was a note inside.  It read:

“Dear Jon.  Congratulations on finishing all your midterms.  But don’t forget who you really are.  Sincerely, your two favorite roommates.

P.S.  Got you.”

Posted in Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. Dave Says:

    LOL! This is the best one yet!

  2. Jason Says:

    SLANDER! Those cookies were delicious!!!!

  3. Wordsman Says:

    I believe, sir, that you are referring to a fictional box of cookies. Also, if you read the story again carefully, I believe you will discover that there is no part that indicates there was any problem with the cookies themselves. It could have been some other object in the box that was not visible from the outside.

  4. Wordsman Says:

    It should also be noted that slander is spoken. In print it’s “libel.”

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