Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Don't toss those cookies
As anyone who has read this blog before can attest to, my brain works in mysterious ways.
Every time I hear Phil Collins' cover of "You Can't Hurry Love," I am reminded of an afternoon at the Naval Air Station in Alameda. My dad was in the Navy Reserve at the time, and we were on base for reasons I can't remember. It didn't involve cartoons or comic books, so it was above my radar.
I do remember stopping at the little store there because they were one of the places at which I could always count on finding my favorite Super Heroes cookies.
Each box was emblazoned with the Super Heroes logo that, under a deal my young brain could scarcely fathom, was shared by rivals Marvel and DC Comics. I knew this because I had a puzzle of the Marvel heroes with the same logo.
On that afternoon, my brother and I each got a box, and as we got in the car to go back home, "You Can't Hurry Love" was playing on the radio. We opened our boxes and gave a running commentary on how many of which superheroes we had.
The cookies themselves were a fairly bland, graham crackery affair, but honestly, they could have put dog poo in some superhero-themed packaging and my brother and I would've wanted it.
In later years, I found out that one of my favorite comic book artists, George Pérez, supplied the artwork for the boxes. And as my obsession from about eighth grade through high school was to collect as much of his output as possible, that made me wish I had saved a box or two of those cookies.
More recently, I'd seen pictures of the cookies on the Internet, and on a whim, checked eBay, even though I'd done so many times before without success.
I ended up getting three boxes of cookies for about 11 bucks. Two of them were the slightly later Supergirl boxes that tied in with the box office bomb, but the cookies inside were still the same. The other box featured Pérez art on front and back.
Like many of my eBay acquisitions, the cookies remained in storage, seen only when we were moving to a new place and I had to make sure they didn't get thrown out by accident.
Then I wondered what the cookies (now in the realm of 22 years old) looked like. I decided to (very carefully) crack open one of the Supergirl boxes since I had two of them.
Of all the cookies, only about half were still intact, which, as I recall, was about the same as when they were new. Nothing was quite as disappointing as finding only the head or legs of a hero you didn't already have in the box. Well, until they stopped making them, anyway.
In this box, I found Wonder Woman (in two slightly different poses), Superman, Supergirl,
Penguin, Batman (in two different poses), Batgirl and Robin.
The second Batman cookie, now that I look at it, reminds me a bit of this picture of Batman. You be the judge:
I was a bit surprised that the cookies still seemed to be in good shape. I wasn't quite adventurous enough to taste one, as they smelled like 22-year-old cardboard, but I appreciated their lack of deterioration nonetheless.
This is the part where I usually have some pithy thing to say that sums up the whole post, but since the whole thing was about opening a 22-year-old box of cookies, I don't think I have anything profound to say other than that I need a hobby or something.