*Note: This audio essay first aired on KRCC (Colorado Springs’ NPR affiliate, 91.5 FM) on October 1, 2020. The link to the program is here; the audio file and the text from the essay are below.


If anything’s better than a kid’s first s’more, I don’t know what. Maybe a first kiss or that other “first time,” but probably not.

There’s the ambiance. Authenticity matters. You need a campfire. One with face-finding smoke that moves independent of the wind and only toward you.

S’mores tell you everything by how someone roasts their marshmallow.

There’s the patient baker,

the careless burner,

and then the full-on blazer. 

That’s the guy (and usually it’s a guy) that instantly nukes his mallow into a blazing torch of radioactive gooey hotness sealed by the blackest volcanic ash.

Smoky the Bear keeps an eye on this guy.

Our COVID-lives could use s’more s’mores. They’re the perfect, socially distant treat to bring us all together.

Everyone loves ‘em.

I mean everyone.

People fall in two groups: there’s s’more-lovers and s’more-eaters, and all s’more-eaters are s’more-lovers.

Here’s my strategy for a national campaign: “Just Say Yes to S’mores.”

Treat everyone as you’d like to be treated…to a s’more.

If they’re upset, give them a s’more.

If they’re happy, they must have had a s’more, so it’s time for seconds.

Call it the Golden-Brown Rule.

It might just bind America back together, and someday, we’ll look back and think, “four s’mores and seven secondsies ago,” that’s when we forgot our anger and remembered, deep down, we’re all just people, people with melted marshmallow and liquid chocolate in our veins. 

Be good.

Be well.

Be sure to call your mom (and don’t forget dad).

Until next week, no matter what, climb on.

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