Thursday, March 09, 2006
Dad Scout Cookies
Every March for the past six years or so, I’ve been pedaling Girl Scout Cookies up and down the railroad’s New Haven Line. I usually leave a couple of cases in the stationmaster’s office in New Haven and bring a couple boxes with me to sell to my coworkers in New York. The cases are adorned with signs that my wife prints up. They have pictures of the cookies on them and read: “Please support your local girl scouts” $4 a box. I leave an envelope and use the honor system for payment.
My daughters and I used to sell these cookies the old fashioned way. We’d go door to door and call up relatives for orders. Now my daughters complain that the driveways in our neighborhood are too long and that dad insists on stopping and talking to all the neighbors.
It was hard to generate many phone sales this year. My wife’s Aunt Ginny, who was one of our best customers, passed away last year. My brother Jimmy, who was also a great customer, now has to watch his sugar intake. We could always depend on my nephew Danny but this year he is on a gluten-free diet. Even my wife and I didn’t order as much as we usually do. We’re watching our carbs.
It’s against company policy for me to solicit cookies on my trains plus the panhandlers don’t like the competition. Occasionally a passenger will see me carrying a case of cookies and ask to buy a box and who am I to deny them the pleasure of Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do Si Dos.
If you’re not familiar with the different varieties of Girl Scout Cookies, let me give you a run down.
Thin Mints: This cookie is about as American as Mom and apple pie. In fact, if you don’t like this cookie, George W. Bush will call you an evildoer and route you out.
Samoas: The best coconut, chocolate, caramel cookie, ever named after an island in the South Pacific.
Trefoil: Boring shortbread cookies for boring people with boring lives. They are also big with the toothless population (i.e. small babies, senior citizens and rednecks.)
All Abouts: Basically a Trefoil on a bed of chocolate. A cookie that’s trying to say, “Look at me, I’m not boring, I have a layer of chocolate on one side” But ultimately, it’s the Bryant Gumbel of the cookie world.
Do si dos: Peanut butter sandwich cookie with a really stupid name.
Tag a longs: Another peanut butter cookie that judging by its name, must be Do si dos kid brother.
Lemon coolers: The low fat cookie. I figure if you’re going to spend $4 on a box of cookies…you might as well pile on the fat.
Café Cookies: The new cookie on the block. The kind of cookie that thinks it’s too good for the rest of the cookies. The kind of cookie that hangs out at Starbucks and demands to be eaten with a $5 Vente.
I’m not sure how I became the main salesperson for these cookies. It may have been when I arrived early to pick up one of my daughters from their troop meeting. I believe her cult…ah I mean troop leader may have indoctrinated me. Against my protests, she demanded that I join them at circle time at the end of the meeting. We stood in the circle, crossed our arms and held hands. I expected to start singing Kum-Bai-Ya but instead we started squeezing hands. The scout on my right squeezed my left hand and I in turn squeezed the hand of my 11-year-old neighbor on my left. We took one step forward with our right foot as the troop chanted the Girl Scout Pledge. This whole exercise made me feel like a cult member at Jamestown. I prayed they wouldn’t bring out the Kool Aid next.
On second thought…I’d never have to sell Girl Scout cookies again.