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The Last Cookie

The Informant is 20 years old, a junior at USC studying Critical Studies in Film, and is from Plymouth, Minnesota.

Him: It’s extremely Minnesotan to not eat the last cookie.

Me: What?

Him: Yes. You can eat the last muffin, or pancake, or candy, but you never eat the last cookie.

Me: So what do you do with it?

Him: You have to split it in half if you want to eat it. You eat only half. And then the next person comes along and splits that half in half, so into a quarter, and you keep going from there until it reaches a ridiculous point when you’d no longer split it in half.

Me: How do you know that’s strictly a Minnesotan thing? Do you do that a lot?

Him: I was literally raised learning that that was a specific type of manner I need to learn. I honestly remember my mom getting mad at me whenever I’d take the last cookie. Same goes for like whenever I burped in a nice restaurant or something. You just don’t do it.  Also, there’s a story that our Mayor was once fired because he took the last cookie at a party. Which proves that it’s a Minnesotan thing!

Me: Is that true?

Him: I don’t know, but from what I think, it totally could be.

Me: Do you still never take the last cookie?

Him: Never. I split it in half and go on my way!

Analysis:

What’s funny about this is that I later talked to another friend of mine who is also from Minnesota (but from a different city) and she also swears that all of this is true. She was also taught not to take the last cookie. I wonder why it’s specifically Minnesotan, or why they think it is. I’d be interested in asking other folks from the Midwest if they were ever taught this form of etiquette.

I think that as a method for further implementing how closely this form of etiquette is associated with Minnesota, someone made up the urban legend that the Mayor got fired for it just to further punctuate how important not taking the last cookie is to Minnesotans. I’d be surprised if it were actually true.

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