My mom’s church is, I used to think, made up of many nice, compassionate people who like to occasionally send me treats on holidays. I never suspected the insidious, retributory righteousness lurking in their hearts. The story is as follows.
I arrive back at my apartment, talking on the phone to one of my friends, and see a package for me. Opening it, I realize it’s from my mom’s church and filled with cookies. Midsentence I suddenly scream at my friend, “YES! I HAVE TEH JESUS COOKIES!” Sometime several minutes later she finally concludes I am not, in fact, insane. Merely damaged. I proceed to munch on cookies.
My roommate, an atheist Jew, arrives back at the apartment. I eagerly show him my day’s bounty and offer him the baked sugar delivery systems. I inform him that since they’re Jesus Cookies he might be converted by trying them. He replies he’s willing to take the risk, but promises to convert if he feels the cookies are so incredible that only divine intervention could have made them possible. He tries several, delivering the verdict that, while they are indeed tasty and wonderful, he firmly believes they could be produced through an evolutionary process of improved baking techniques by mere mortals. He remains a heathen.
A half hour later I realize the fiendish plan. The church wanted to punish me for not attending often enough, so they plotted to send me delicious, delicious cookies. They knew, JUST KNEW, that in my weakened state of not having a good cookie for weeks I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from eating handful after handful of cookie. My sore stomach groaned in displeasure. It’s come to prefer yogurt and granola.
I told my roommate about the trap I’d fallen prey to, but he reassured me all was as it should be. A utilitarian, he told me that obviously due to future discounting I had eaten exactly as much cookie as would make me happy even including the sore stomach I had. We proceeded to spend 15 minutes discussing future discounting, utility maximization methods, relation to hang-overs. Then my roommate brilliantly realized that were Jesus here now, things could be made even more right by him using the coffee container of cookies to give us a life-time supply of cookies. We agreed this gave us the best reason to be excited about the second coming that we’d heard in years.
Our conversation then moved on, as all conversations amongst the educated classes eventually do, to Joss Whedon.