Case of the Chocolate Brownies

I have never been one of those stereotypical girls who craves chocolate — in fact, the way chocolate is culturally fetishized and turned into some sort of shorthand for feminine sexual desire has always made me eye-rollingly weary. As far as desserts go, I almost always prefer fruit-, vanilla-, or caramel-type flavors. This is why it always surprises me when I find myself perusing the aisle of brownie mixes at the grocery store, as I did earlier this evening.

Normally this case would be on the agency’s back burner, as there are almost always more pressing mysteries — For example, The Case of the Missing Sock, The Case of the Whiny Dog, and The Case of the As-Yet-Unwritten Conference Paper are all currently under investigation.  The Case of the Chocolate Brownies would usually go unsolved, but today it wound up reaching an unhoped-for resolution:

When I found myself in the baking aisle, I was still groggy and tear stained after a rather pointless afternoon of grumpy napping and sulking.  It was one of those afternoons when I came home a little early and, for no apparent reason, decided to turn out all the lights and take a nap.  And then, in the middle of my relatively sleepless nap, I happened to remember something sad and, for no apparent reason, instead of acknowledging the sad thing and moving on, I decided to more fully remember the sad thing, reliving that whole black stupid day and wallowing in it on purpose.  Why? FOR NO APPARENT REASON.

Except that in retrospect, the reason for today’s bad behavior seems glaringly apparent. When was the last time I felt like this? Last month? And then before that in December? It does not take a rocket scientist or even a lady doctor to figure this one out, does it?

And now, with this case happily resolved, I must go listen to my boyfriend Barack Obama on TV while I whip up those goddamned brownies.

Case Status: Closed. Also chocolatey.

IMPORTANT BROWNIE UPDATE: These brownies are fucking delicious.


  1. Space cakes are rumoured to cure depression (so I’ve been told).

    I can sympathize – January and February have not been kind to me, either.


  2. TPO – If i could distribute these brownies digitally, I’d offer you one! I’ve got to get them off my hands before I eat the whole batch.

    J – Yes, I think it is a scientific fact that brownies and other baked goods are the cure for depression, PMS, and even everyday ennui. This is why bakers are the true heroes. I hope you’re doing OK! Please accept a hypothetical digital brownie of your own!


  3. Pleasing lexical factoid for the day: “baxter” is the feminine of “baker” (not that I’m promoting workplace sex discrimination).

    I’ve been menstruating regularly since September 1991, and still it sneaks up on me.


  4. Digital brownies, hooray!

    So, even though you don’t crave chocolate, you are kind of on the verge of admitting it does, sometimes, have it’s place? Scientifically speaking, of course….


  5. Thank you for the deliciously non-hypothetical brownies! (A benefit of living in the same town as you.) As for lady time, I still get mad at myself when I realize feeling X may in fact be amplified slightly by hormones. Being a lady is goofy sometimes.


  6. So, what you ladies seem to be suggesting is that chocolate may have a mitigating effect on the influence of hormone-induced “Feeling-X“?


  7. The other option is a hormone that causes blood flow AWAY from the brain at the sight of certain mammalian protuberances, causing all sorts of bad judgement/actions. Bloody good detective work however!


  8. A and G – Glad I am not the only one being snuck up on with the ladies’ time!

    And “baxter” – good one! I will file it away!

    J – It seems so. I mean, I’m no scientist, but there seems to be a pattern with my normally-anti-chocolate, sometimes-chocolate needs.

    S – I guess I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that — though some would say spontaneous brownie baking is also a bad judgment!


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