Motherís Cookies

by Pat Glesner



When some retire they go out to pasture. CRELE's take up something else........

Throughout my career, it always seemed that as soon as I made it to the head of the line, they would close up the cage. When I was a brand new electronics warrant a CWO4 had the clout to bump me out of my orders to Spain. When I became CWO4 I found that I had no clout at all. The Coast Guard was top heavy with ELC4s then and was trying to weed them out to make room for younger guys. They did this by offering senior warrants god awful orders, with the hope that they would retire rather than take them. The god awful orders they sent to the west coast were to Japan. They offered them to the senior CWO4 on Coast Guard Island and got the hoped for reaction: he asked to retire immediately. A few days after they let him go he showed up back in the office to report that he had found a job. I asked him where. "Mother's Cookies," he said.

They offered the god awful orders to the next man in line and the same thing happened. He retired, and then came back a few days later to report that he too had found a job with Mother's Cookies. And so it went, with Japan tipping off warrants and Mother's Cookies picking them up as fast as they fell. After they finished purging the Bay Area of CWO4s it seemed as if Mother's Cookies was completely staffed by retired warrants. I don't know exactly how they employed them, but I can imagine a line of old, castoff warrants, seated next to a conveyer belt with cutters in hand, stamping out cookies from a long ribbon of dough, while "Mother" stands overhead, cracking her whip.  

Finally those god awful orders were passed on to me. My friends suggested Motherís Cookies, but I had to take the orders, as I was not yet eligible for retirement. As it turned out Japan was not so bad after all. I had such a great time that I almost regretted having spent so much time and effort trying to avoid LORAN.

The end of my year in Japan also saw the end of my second decade in the Coast Guard fast approaching. I was back in the Bay Area, considering my options. Perhaps I did have a future with Mother's Cookies, I thought. Not in the sweat shop, but up front, in advertising. Keeblers has its elves, so why not this scene at a Super Bowl break: In an antique kitchen, wispy, white, haired, long bearded, age spotted gentlemen labor. Some tremble along on walkers, carefully checking bubbling cauldrons of batter, while others wheel their chairs up to worn oak tables and knead out cookie dough with gnarled and weather beaten hands. All are dressed in faded, threadbare Coast Guard uniforms with the sleeve lace of warrant. Mother does not crack her whip, of course. A kindly cross of all the TV moms you have known, with an added touch of saintliness, she circulates among the old officers, giving a gentle pat on the back here, and word of encouragement there. Then comes the voice over. "Mother's Cookies: Lovingly crafted by wizen old warrants."

Alas, my first/best chance for a second career went awry.  Some of Mother's "son's" were less than impressed with my brilliance, and my future with cookies crumbled.

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