Senior Citizen Pilfers One-Millionth Artificial Sweetener Packet

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An Illinois senior citizen has stolen her one-millionth packet of artificial sweetener, according to a local cafe owner.

Mildred Croly of Milledgeville, 45 miles southwest of Rockford, celebrated the occasion Tuesday. Friends and family from all over the Prairie State watched as Croly, 83, placed the milestone packet of Sweet’N Low in her large, old lady handbag.

“I’ve been lifting sugar bags for as long as I can remember,” reminisced Croly. “It all began with my grandmother during the war; the big one. There were sugar rations. I’m sure some people went without, but not our family.”

Mildred Croly’s one-millionth packet of stolen artificial sweetener. (Nofsinger/DALL-E)

Croly recalled, as a child, watching her own grandmother steal sugar from every restaurant they patronized.

“Back then they didn’t have artificial sweeteners or these new-fangled, individual packets, said Croly. “Most cafes had a large, glass, sugar dispenser on the table. My grandmother, Harriet, God rest her soul, would dump the entire contents into her purse.”

“Often times, Croly continued, “We’d find hairs, lint, unwrapped, half-sucked cough drops, and even an occasional half dollar baked into one of her famous zucchini breads.”

The Cost of Doing Business

Elroy Fitzroy IV, known by his friends as Roy Roy Roy Roy, is the fifth generation owner of Elroy’s Cafe Tire & Wheel, a Milledgeville staple since the 1920’s. He claims he can attach a dollar amount to the free sweetener, Croly and other fixed-income seniors have pillaged from his establishment over the years.

“In total, I would say it’s probably around $17; maybe $18,” said Fitzroy. “I mean, I can get a metric ton of the stuff, for next to nothing, at the Costco up in Rockford.”

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Fitzroy admitted Mildred has gone too far a time or two.

“Back in 2003, she borrowed one of them Winn-Dixie motorized scooters and stole six cases of Splenda packets out of my stockroom,” recounted Fitzroy. “She would have gotten away with it too, if she didn’t try to offload ’em at a church potluck the very next day.”

“Those boxes fell off a truck,” claimed Croly. “Roy Roy Roy Roy has tried to pin that on me for years. Ask Reverend Whitaker at the Church of the Brethren. He’ll tell you.”

“She stole the Splenda,” said Reverend Whitaker. “I’ve seen the security video.”

Will Ketchup Catch Up?

Agnes Coglinard is a local artist, and part-time Milledgeville Senior Center bus driver. She was charged with creating a memorial plaque honoring Croly’s accomplishment. It’s a two-foot by three-foot replica of a Sweet’N Low packet.

“As you can see, I used yarn. Then, I dyed a bunch dry pinto beans and macaroni, pink,” Coglinard said with pride. “Add a shit-ton of epoxy and you have a keepsake that Millie will probably want to be buried with.”

If she ever dies,” presumed Coglinard. “After consuming all that Splenda and whatnot, she has more chemicals in her system than that epoxy does.”

What’s next for Croly? Is it two million sweetener packets? Three million? Or does Mildred have her sites set on another challenge.

“There’s a woman in Beardstown who calls herself the ‘Queen of Ketchup,’ declared Croly. “She claims to have pinched one-hundred-thousand McDonald’s ketchup packs.”

“Get me a Winn-Dixie electric scooter and tell Agnes to fire up the “Geezer Guzzler,” demanded Croly. “Before long we’ll have more ketchup than the Milledgeville Founders Day co-ed, slow-pitch softball tournament snack shack.”

“Thou shalt not steal is one of the commandments we take pretty seriously in these parts,” said Reverend Whitaker.

“You know as believers we do our best to follow the scripture.” “You know, ‘forgive them Lord for they know not what they do.’ Mildred knows. She’s just old,” justified Whitaker. “And we haven’t had to come out of pocket to buy Splenda for our “Jesus Loves Joe” coffee klatches in nearly twenty years.”

by Spence
February 6, 2023