Are they cookies or caca? Ever wonder how web developers coined the term cookies?
Nearly 40 years ago, as Marie and I were expecting our first child together, we were enjoying a family dinner with her and my children. In a rare moment of family unity, they shared curiosity about what this new baby would be like. What would he eat? When would he walk? How would he learn to talk?
The most fun arose around “How will he learn to talk?” We explained that he’d listen to us. If we showed him a ball and said, “ball,” that’s what he’d call it. Point to our nose and say “nose.” Etc.
It didn’t take more than a minute for four kids, ages eight to sixteen, to figure that we could trick him. Point to his feet and say “ball,” his water and say “car.” You get the picture. We were starting to disturb diners at neighboring tables.
Then the joke turned adolescent . . . and the messy brown content of his diapers became “cookies.” I was sure the maître d’ was about to request that we leave.
But the label stuck. The odorous diaps were full of cookies. Our darling baby boy became Jeff the Chef. When the house smelled like – well, you know what – he had been baking cookies. At the end of his first day in preschool, Jeff’s teacher reported that all had gone well but she couldn’t understand why he kept insisting on “making cookies.”
The day of reckoning came on his first day in kindergarten. He came home furious, “NOBODY calls it cookies!” But by this time it was engraved in stone. To this day in our family, caca is cookies.
According to Wikipedia, “computer programmer Lou Montulli had the idea of using them [cookies] in web communications in June 1994.” Today the whole world finds it acceptable to have cookies left on their computers.
But the Clappers and Petersens all know they’re putting one over on us. Cookies are really caca.