The Wedding? I’m Here for the Cookies
LIKE brides and bridegrooms the world over, the ones in this city and nearby towns bask in the glory of the white dress, the big kiss and the first dance.
But then, a large number of them happily cede the spotlight to a cookie. Or a few thousand of them.
For as long as anyone here can remember, wedding receptions in Pittsburgh have featured cookie tables, laden with dozens of homemade old-fashioned offerings like lady locks, pizzelles and buckeyes. For weeks ahead — sometimes months — mothers and aunts and grandmas and in-laws hunker down in the kitchen baking and freezing. Then, on the big day, hungry guests ravage the buffet, piling plates high and packing more in takeout containers so they can have them for breakfast the next day.
The fact that cookie tables are essential to Pittsburgh weddings is news to no one in the Burgh, I hope. And the vitality of the tradition confirms something that I've written before. The health of Pittsburgh's economy is better measured in terms of baked goods than in terms of other manufactured output. The progressive Cupcake Class in Pittsburgh has nothing on the classic Cookie Class, which was here before and which seems determined to survive forever.
If the supply of cookies to cookie tables really is as inelastic as the Times implies, then a modest cookie tax could be calculated that would close the pension shortfall - and have zero impact on the region's "renaissance PR" or on its students and colleges and universities.
Sure, it's a weird kind of "sin" tax, but let's classify it as a "consumption" tax, which is in vogue these days among tax reformers. Like many consumption taxes, it is modestly regressive. But I think that the citizens of the city could, er, stomach it.
So: Down with the Tuition Tax. Up with the Cookie Tax.