A fellow went to Texas for a conference. When the conference was finished, he returned to
the airport to catch his plane home and thought how much he had missed his wife while he’d
been gone. “I’ll take her something to show her how much I’ve missed her,” he thought. He
looked all over the airport. He thought about flowers, but he didn’t really want to get
flowers; he wondered whether to get her some candy, but that didn’t seem quite right either.
There just wasn’t anything in that airport that he wanted to take home.
Suddenly, he smelled a marvelous aroma. “Wow! I’ve never smelled anything that good,” he
thought. He followed the aroma, and it led him to a little shop he hadn’t noticed before.
The sign over the shop read, The Best Cookies in the World. “If they taste anything like
they smell,” he thought, “they will indeed be the best cookies in the world.”
He went into the shop. “Do you have any chocolate chip cookies?” he asked the woman behind
“Of course we do,” she replied, “and they are the biggest and the best chocolate chip cookies
in the nation. As you and I both know, everything in Texas is bigger and better than anywhere
“Great,” the fellow said, “I’d like half a dozen, please.”
She boxed them, and he picked up his briefcase and newspaper and walked towards the terminal.
When he arrived the terminal was crowded, and he looked all over to see if there was one seat
that would let him be by himself. He saw one seat with a table next to it, then a grandmother
seated on the far side with her two grandchildren. He walked quickly over to that seat, put
his things down, took out his newspaper, and began to read it. It wasn’t long before he could
smell those cookies again, and he wondered whether they really did taste as good as they
smelled. “I wouldn’t want to take something home that didn’t taste good,” he thought.
“Maybe I should try one.” He reached over, took a cookie from the box on the table, and began
to eat it. It was excellent. He was savoring the flavor when he saw out of the corner of his
eye the grandmother reaching toward his box of cookies. He watched as she took one and began
to eat it. He couldn’t believe his eyes. The nerve of that woman to take one of his cookies!
But he couldn’t face embarrassing her publicly, so he turned back to his newspaper in disbelief.
A short while later, he thought, “If I eat one more cookie, I can take the last three to my
wife and she’ll never know the difference.” As he reached over to take another cookie, he
was stunned to see the grandmother taking not just one cookie, but two. She gave them to her
grandchildren, who began happily munching them.
“This is outrageous! Unbelievable! How can she do that!” he thought. However, he was still
unwilling to face her. Again he returned to his paper, but he was very angry inside. “She
won’t get my last cookie,” he thought, so he reached over to take it. But the woman reached
over at the same time, and their hands paused above the last cookie. He glanced at her. She
smiled at him. He returned to his newspaper. She took the cookie, broke it, and gave half
to him while she ate the other half.
That was the last straw! In anger, he hurriedly ate the half cookie she had given him,
grabbed his briefcase and newspaper, and stomped over to the other side of the terminal.
He waited there seething with anger until his flight boarded. He charged onto the plane,
flung himself down in his seat, jerked down the tray table in front of him, slammed his
briefcase down on it, opened the briefcase… and there was his box of cookies!
Four things you can never recover:
The Stone… after it’s thrown
The Word… after it’s said
The Occasion… after it’s over.
The time… after it’s gone.