Myth Trivia: Cookies, Dr. Ruth and seven other dwarfs

Since we are talking about Oreos/Hydrox and Dr. Ruth in our trivia today, you could say that one way or another we are going to “get our cookies.”

(Disney/Promotional Photo)

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, May 4, 2016 – Since we are talking about Oreos/Hydrox and Dr. Ruth in our trivia today, you could say that one way or another we are going to “get our cookies.”

1 – How Snow White’s little friends got their names: No wonder those German brothers were Grimm. In August of 1934, 21 pages of notes were compiled by the creators of Walt Disney’s classic animated film Snow White with suggestions about the principal characters, situations and “gags” for the story. Disney made it clear from the outset that the primary focus should be on the Seven Dwarfs and opportunities for them to create visual “screwiness” and “gags.”
Since the dwarfs were not named in the original fairy tale published by the Grimms, the Disney team decided that each little person should have an identifiable name representing his own particular personality.

Some 50 names were submitted, including Jumpy, Chesty, Awful, Deafy, Dizzey, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty and Burpy. When you consider how familiar the names of the actual characters are to us today, many of the suggestions seem to be rather odd choices now.

Doc was chosen as the leader because he was not only pompous and self-important but also bumbling. Four others were selected following Doc: Grumpy (who could have also been Baldy), Bashful, Sleepy and Happy.

Sneezy and Dopey were later added, but before they made the final cut, the consensus was to go with Jumpy and one other unnamed dwarf.

Among other interesting early production notes were proposals that the wicked queen would attempt to kill Snow White with a poisoned comb rather than the apple that was eventually used. While that may sound strange at first, the original version by the Grimms did use the comb instead of the apple.

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Two other ideas were to make the prince more of a clown than a true hero, while the queen was described as possibly being a “fat, batty, cartoon type, self-satisfied” monarch.

In retrospect, it is amazing how perfectly correct the final choices actually seem to be.

2 – Dr. Ruth Westheimer grows up: Speaking of “dwarfs,” Dr. Ruth Westheimer was born Karola Ruth Siegel in Wiesenfeld, Germany, in 1928. As the only child of Orthodox Jews Irma and Julius Siegel, Karola was sent to Switzerland in 1939 by her mother and grandmother as part of the Kindertransport program following the abduction of her father by the Nazis.

While living in an orphanage in Switzerland, Karola learned that her parents had been killed during the Holocaust, very likely at Auschwitz.

At the age of 17, the young Jewish woman emigrated to the British-controlled Mandatory Palestine, where she joined the Haganah, Jewish paramilitary organization, in Jerusalem that existed between 1921 and 1948 before finally being disbanded.

During her service, Dr. Ruth was wounded in action by an explosion during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948. Her injuries were severe, and it was several months before she could walk again.

By 1970, Ruth had completed post-doctoral work in human sexuality at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. During that time, she worked closely with Helen Singer Kaplan, a pioneer in sexual therapy.

With the publication of her definitive books on the subject of human sexuality, “Dr. Ruth’s Encyclopedia of Sex” and “Sex for Dummies,” Dr. Ruth Westheimer became a noted authority on the subject.

Yet, while that story may seem remarkable, what is even more astounding is Ruth’s military training during the mid-1940s. Because of her elfin size at just 4 feet 7 inches, the beloved diminutive sex therapist we all know as Dr. Ruth actually trained as a scout and a sniper for the Israeli army.

Talk about “making the earth move!”

3 – Dunking your cookies: There are lots of products we can think of that have become so familiar to us that their brand name actually represents the entire line; Kleenex for a tissue, Coke for a soft drink, Scotch Tape for sticky adhesive, Putt-Putt for miniature golf.

But in the world of cookies, the classic everyone thinks of when it comes to dunking them in milk is “Oreo.”

There’s a catch, however. You see, “Hydrox” was created in 1908 and Oreos didn’t appear until four years later. Yep, Oreos are the “knock-off” though most people would guess it is the other way around.

Originally Hydrox was manufactured by Sunshine. The name was derived from the atoms composing water, hydrogen and oxygen, and the manufacturers believed “hydrox” conveyed the concept of “purity and goodness.”

When Sunshine was acquired by Keebler in 1999, Hydrox was largely discontinued. It remained that way until 2015, when Leaf Brands re-introduced the original chocolate and crème filled cookie sandwich.

Though the difference between Hydrox and Oreos is slight, connoisseurs will tell you that Hydrox cookies are less tangy, less sweet and crunchier, which means they get less soggy when dunked in a glass of milk.

And so as the debate continues, never forget that Hydrox was first, though we all benefit by getting our “just” desserts.

Now to reignite the Civil War, let’s confront the subject of Krispy Kremes vs Dunkin’ Donuts.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News

Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod

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