At primary school, a boy whose real name I won’t reveal (I’ll call him Mike Lamprill) took our collective seven-year-old understanding of honesty to a new echelon during a game of Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar.

For those who don’t know the game, it goes something like this:

Kiddies sit in a circle and create a beat by clapping their hands then slapping their knees in unison – hands-knees, hands-knees, hands-knees, etc. The teacher then gets the game started in earnest by singing “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?” followed by “Li stole the cookies from the cookie jar.” This brings that child into the game, and their response to the accusation must be “Who me?” which is immediately followed by the whole group baying for blood: “Yes you!”, then back to the accused who pleads their innocence with “Couldn’t be!”, then back to the group of shockingly fickle accusers who, instead of broadening their line of enquiry just give up, and together ask “Then who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?”, which gives the now-innocent child the chance to make their own evidence-free allegation: “DAVID stole the cookies from the cookie jar!” And so on and so forth.

If you’re still not sure what the hell I’m talking about, I highly recommend Wikipedia’s description, which includes a superlative use of the word “apocryphal”.

Who Stole the Cookies had a chequered history at my primary school.

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