Girl Scout Cookie season is upon us, and I’m scared. A bunch of Girl Scouts formed a gang that hangs out in front of my neighborhood grocery store. As I’m heading to my car, they step in front of me and say, “Hey, hey, hey. Not so fast, lady. We’ve made you a cookie you can’t refuse.”
I start to say, “No thanks,” but then I’m blubbering, “Six boxes of Thin Mints! I’ll freeze them! I’ll give them to friends! Okay, okay! Tagalongs too!”
Then this one woman I work with I’m pretty sure is being held hostage by a Girl Scout in her own home. Even though soliciting is forbidden at work, there she is, out in the open, shaking down her own friends. Obviously the Girl Scouts have protection way, way high up. Maybe big pharmaceuticals in type-2 diabetes treatment. The manufacturers of liposuction machinery. It’s far-reaching. Who knows what to believe, but I heard Russia’s hacking Weight Watchers’ cookie-portion campaign.
My coworker comes around, all strung out and dreary, carrying this cheerful so-called “order form.” It’s got pictures of the cookies and the names of all the other suckers, different ink colors, different handwriting, so convincing. Don’t even look at it, because when you do, it just breaks your heart. “No, not Scott! Scott went down for twelve boxes, and his wife’s a baker! Cynthia just got her triglycerides in check, and she has a family!”
I just lie to my colleague. I say the grocery store gang took all my money. I can hold her off, but eventually the little kingpin herself comes in, you know, to see what all the trouble is. She’s always wearing puppy tails, a smile, and the regalia, the sash with the badges. She’s earned badges in Racketeering, Extortion, and Manslaughter. She slaps the form on my desk and chirps, “Would you like to buy some cookies?” I start with two boxes each of my favorites.
Then she taps the form with her chipped green-painted fingernails and says, “The Do-Si-Dos. And the Savannah Smiles. Trust me. You want the Savannah Smiles.”
I can accept that Girl Scout Cookies are a kind of tax levied on the weak by the cute. It’s just that you know they’re laced with something addictive. I believe it, because as soon as the boxes are in my hands, I’ve got a problem. I suffer persistent and obsessive thoughts about the cookies. Despite a strong desire to resist them, I will eat the cookies at the expense of my finances, my relationships, and my health.
I say I’ll give them away, and I don’t. I say I’ll store them. They’ll keep through a nuclear holocaust and beyond. You could wrap them up for Christmas presents you plan to give in the year 3000. How do you think they stock fallout shelters? The cookies would keep, except that they don’t–I have all the self-control of a famished jackal.
My husband says, “If you don’t want them, just throw them out.” He’s from South Africa, and he’s never eaten a Girl Scout Cookie in his life. Nor will he ever, not if I can help it. He comes into the kitchen, days later, like, “Hey, what happened to that box of cookies?” He’s clueless.
The first symptom is I start talking to myself in second-person. I say, “You’re going to freeze those Thin Mints.”
As if I wouldn’t eat them frozen even if it broke all my front teeth. I tell myself, “Hey, don’t you reach for that box, don’t tear it open! What are you doing?! Well, okay, just as long as you don’t pop open the sleeve–you know what hap-” And then the sleeve goes piff! And I get that first whiff of chocolatey mint methamphetamine. Within seconds, I’ve downed the whole sleeve and I’m up, up, and away.
I start sweating. My heart races. I get dizzy and twitchy. My thoughts get foggy. I have memory lapses and mood swings. Abdominal distress. I can’t sleep. I start lying to my husband and hiding the empty boxes in the bottom of the trash. I’m not hungry for dinner at all, but I cook it and choke it down so he doesn’t catch on. It totally disrupts all my body’s flora. Probably the fauna too. The entire habitat. It’s very destructive. I get ulcers in my mouth, and I bet my pancreas is shot.
None of that worries me as much as it should, though. What really bothers me is my vanity–my teeth. This time of year, I get “thin-mint mouth.” It’s like “meth mouth,” only sweeter.
Yesterday I went to my dental hygienist and confessed I was using Girl Scout Cookies. I showed her my teeth and the mouth sores.
She said, “It happens.” Then she picked up the scraper and confessed, “At lunch, I ate an entire tray of Samoas.”
A Girl Scout moved in right across the street. As soon as I got home from the dentist’s, I took my dog Mick outside to play Frisbee, and the kid spotted us. She came skipping over with an armload of boxes and her curls flying. She sang out, “Want to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?”
Before I peed myself in terror, I said, “Okay,” threw money at her, and grabbed a box of Tagalongs.
Naturally, I opened the box right there. Then she twisted my arm and got from me a couple of the cookies she had just sold me, one for her and one for her little brother. She even said, “One for Mickey too?” so I gave one to my own dog. Then the kids wanted more, and so Mick had to have another one. But now that I had the cookies, I was strong.
I said, “No, you can’t have any more of these cookies that I hate myself for eating.” I convinced myself I was a saint, poisoning myself to spare them the pain of addiction. The truth is, I can’t share Girl Scout Cookies. I ate the rest of that box myself, right in front of them, standing in the middle of the yard, even though throwing the Frisbee for Mick dirtied my cookie hand with mud and God knows what the neighborhood cats left in the sand. I can’t even stop for toxoplasmosis. The cookies are going to kill me anyway. What’s the point?
Nowadays, my fellow addicts complain the price is going up and the number of cookies per box is going down. Girl Scout Cookie apologists argue the greater per-cookie expense reduces the toll that Girl Scout Cookies are taking on public health, but people like me just buy more boxes. I may have to check myself into a cookie-free living facility. I need help.
We can’t keep paying more and more money every year for fewer and fewer cookies that we don’t want to eat, but what else can we do? It’s not the fault of our nation’s little girls, who only become users themselves. I’m a case-in-point. I was once a cookie-pusher too.
Wake up, America. We’re in the grip of an international cookie cartel that profits from our public health crisis. Join the War on Cookies. The life you save may be my dog’s.