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Stack this!

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:04 a.m. CDT

Do you know the second place score in this year’s impromptu Jasper County Fair adult Oreo stacking contest? I do, it’s 23. How do I know? Because it’s my score.

The record is 27. That’s an almost impossible feat. A column of chocolate, creme filled sandwich cookies is wobbly and unpredictable. Let’s not forget environmental factors — the tick of the one minute countdown clock; the stacker across the table giving me the “I’m watching you” sign; and the cheerleading section of 12-year-olds rallying for their mom. Oreo stacking is serious business.

The key is gravity. You can’t stack all the Oreos straight up, because not every Oreo is the same. There are subtle differences in weight and shape. To stack a stable Oreo tower it’s important to have a strong base. Some of the cookies might need to be staggered to keep the weight even. A double stuffed thrown into the pan can throw you completely off balance. Oreo stacking is about physics. It’s also unadulterated fun.

There is always the risk the stack could fall. The important thing is to rebuild quickly and don’t let broken cookies slow you down. Just get a new cookie. Even a single crack in a wafer could spell structural collapse. If that Nabisco tower tumbles it’s important not to glance at your competitor’s stacks, even in the periphery. Focus on what’s in front of you.

When the final whistle blows, the suspense isn’t done. Volunteers removed the Oreos one by one, counting each cookie until a winner is crowned.

The event was started several years ago to continue the fair’s expansion of open class contest and its overall appeal beyond the agricultural community. It worked for me.

When the open class volunteer who runs Oreo stacking randomly called me out for our just-for-fun “Grand Stack” competition, I said yes quicker than you can say “twist, lick and dunk.”

Contact Mike Mendenhall at mmendenhall@jaspercountytribune.com

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