January 25, 2019

girl scout cookies

No Samoas for me, thanks.  I'm good.

It's duck season rabbit season duck season rabbit season Girl Scout cookie season.  I'm sure you've seen the blast of marketing this year ... not just tables out in front of stores, but actual bumper stickers saying "STOP:  I HAVE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES" and the like.  Even news stories.  It seems to be an intense campaign.

I was a Brownie and Girl Scout.  It was a small town; it's what you did as a kid.  I was smart and chubby and an overachiever, doing things like cleaning books at the public library as a volunteer for a badge, and all that meant I fit in there about as well as I did at school.  I sat alone.

But boy, when it came to selling cookies, I was a model recipient of indoctrination and hit every house in a five-block radius, even houses across the road that my mother had forbidden me to cross on my bike.  I got neither permission nor forgiveness for that one, but I had to deliver the cookies anyway.

When I was eight, I sold enough cookies to yield a large, unwieldy stack of cardboard boxes full of cookie boxes sitting on our kitchen floor, piled against the Formica-covered island counter.  It took up a quarter of the room.  We fetched them on a Saturday morning, stacked them up, and I ate breakfast and hit the streets on my bike, a large box strung over each handle bar, eager to deliver them.

The boxes were pretty heavy and I didn't fully grasp the finer points of mechanical physics at that age.  And I don't remember anything after seeing the box on the right swing into the spokes of my front tire; the next memory is of sitting in the kitchen at home with an ice pack wrapped in a frayed kitchen towel on my head.  We know from a neighbor's account that I went flying off the flipped bike, sailed through the air, and landed head-first against the concrete curb.

I looked blearily at the stack of boxes in our kitchen and thought it was odd that they were there.  "Mama, why are there so many boxes right there?" I asked.  I got a dirty look and an eye roll.  "Stop playing around," she said.  Then she saw the fear in my eyes.  "I really don't know," I said.  She said, "Oh, shit," and grabbed the telephone off the wall and dialed Grandma, who was a nurse and headed over immediately.

The afternoon that followed was one that probably involved the adults laughing their asses off behind my back, if only because they were also nervous.  I went around in a loop.  A friend came over to visit and we sat at the kitchen table, coloring and drawing together.  I walked into the living room.  "Mama, can I have a cookie?"  She said, "Just one."  We had bought one box, some Samoas, and they sat glittering on the top shelf of the hutch.

I took a cookie and ate it.

God damn, Samoas are good.

Then I turned around.  "Oh, hey, Jessica, when did you get here?"  We colored some more.  I went into the living room.  I looked around.  Then I remembered that my mother said I could have a cookie.  I went into the kitchen.

I took a cookie and ate it.

I turned around.  "Oh, hey, Jessica, when did you get here?"  I sat back down and picked up a crayon.

I walked into the living room.  My mother said, "Lille, you've already had a cookie."

"Okay," I said.  I remembered that she said I could have a cookie.  I walked into the kitchen, over to the hutch.

I took a cookie and ate it.

"Oh, hey, Jessica, when did you get here?"

I ate the whole fucking box of Samoas.

It has occurred to me, as an adult, to wonder why they didn't just take the box and hide it.  This is why I think they were in the next room laughing, and then putting on straight faces when I came in.  To be fair, I had it coming.  That shit is hilarious.

The next day was iffy ... I was allowed to go deliver one box of cookies, by foot, to the preacher four houses down.  I rested.  And the next day, my mother wrote a note for my teacher and sent me off to school.

Whenever I look at those memes in the vein of #fuckthatguyinparticular, I think about that Monday morning on the playground at school, wandering and mildly woozy, and the moment when, despite a school recess history thoroughly devoid of injuries or incidents (except when bullies happened), a kid swinging on the high bar kicked me in the back of the head, in the precise spot where I'd hit the curb.

When the teacher put a sheet of math problems in front of me and I stared at them for a while with half-focused awe, she sprinted down to the school office and called my mother.

And that is why I don't like Samoas any more.  I like those peanut butter sandwich cookies.  I think they call them Do-Si-Dos now.  I can't eat them now anyway, because of the bypass, but it's Girl Scout cookie season, and you have to have your answer to the question prepared, like your favorite sports team:  "What's your favorite flavor?"

If you don't answer immediately, you're practically un-American.


  1. Holy freakin' somoas! Glad you survived! And mint chocolate chip. Frozen.

    1. Never had them frozen ... damn it to Hell! Missed that chance. Are those as good as frozen York patties?