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It’s the most treacherous time of the year for sugar addicts and those who try to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle. I am weak, yes, but must I be assaulted at every turn? I have a right to grocery shop in peace. To get my car washed without interruption. To buy necessities like shampoo and laundry detergent and shoes without breaking out into a cold sweat every time I see a swatch of orange. Danger lurks among us, people. You are not safe.

Everywhere I go these days I am accosted by those minefields dressed in orange and brown. No! I do not want to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies. I don’t want to pre-order them from my co-workers kids (this goes double for the rubber tubs of raw cookie dough, the gourmet popcorn & the organic candy bars. Yes, I know dark chocolate is good for me. In small doses. I cannot be trusted with 30 pallets of “small doses.”) Sure, all I have to do is smile and say “no thanks” but I’m sick of being asked. I don’t like the sad, dejected little voice directed to the quickly retreating back of my head that says, “thanks anyway, have a nice day.” I will not have a nice day, thank you very much. I just rejected an eleven-year-old girl.

I feel like it’s hunting season and I’m a big, fat buck with myopia and a club foot. Is it me or are the Girl Scouts more aggressive this year? I expect to see them at grocery stores and around the office but this year I’ve found them at malls, gas stations, even downtown Seattle staking out busy intersections outside Nordstrom and Sephora. Oh no you don’t, Girlie! Those are my happy places! And it’s not just the Scouts who seemingly multiply like pesky Gremlins every time I politely decline another box of Caramel DeLights. It’s their MOTHERS. I’m all for supporting your kids, sure. And no I don’t expect little Susie and her sugar shack to be dropped off alone at Safeway by a mommy who promises to return in five hours to pick her up, but I also don’t like the passive pandering Mommy offers in the background.

“Ask her, Jasmine, ask her!”

Don’t, Jasmine, just let it go…”

“Jasmine, stop her! Make her look at you!”

Jasmine, don’t go there. I will take you and your Thin Mints down.

“Do you not care about the environment, Jasmine? Do you not want self-esteem and life skills? Make her buy your cookies, Jasmine. Get her!”

I do not make eye contact. I do not slow down in front of their card tables. I do not smile and lick my lips or make solicitous comments at the Peanut Butter Patties and wax nostalgic about how many boxes I knocked back in my youth. (A lot, in case you’re wondering and I’m pretty sure I only get better with age.) And yet, I’m still a target. They always ask me! This game is getting dangerous.

The breaking point came today while leaving my local Thriftway. I was armed with a bag full of organic fruit and Kashi products (and okay, a bottle of wine but that’s for a dinner party I’m having next Friday. And yes, okay, you win! Ice cream too! But it’s low-cal. I’m not a machine people! I have needs!)

I was caught up with the flow of people leaving the store and saw, too late, the cardboard checkpoint mere feet away. It was not there when I entered the store. They’re literally popping up with the blink of an eye. Starbucks could learn a thing or two from the Girl Scouts. Determined not to be caught in the line of fire, I put my head down and sped up. Did I hear the sweet, tempting little voice asking if I wanted to buy a box of cookies? Did I hear the pushy mom stage whispering demands to her daughter? Did I hear the shortbreads and Peanut Butter Sandwiches killing me softly with their songs of crumbling goodness? No! All was drowned out by the sound of screeching tires and shouts from the SUV-driving soccer mom seconds before she ran me over. No doubt the bed of butter and “healthy” oils would have cushioned the blow, but still. I almost died trying to avoid a Girl Scout.

Sure they claim to be community ambassadors. They allegedly instill positive values and self-esteem in today’s young ladies. They provide positive role models and education and life skills. But personally I think Girl Scouts are a determent to society. That is why I am starting a campaign to stop the cookie pandering. Why not host a designer sample sale? I mean, what better training for tomorrow’s retail mavericks? Exactly what kind of values are they instilling in today’s youth?

In order to build awareness for my campaign, I guess I need to raise money. So I will host a fundraiser. Perhaps I will sell magazine subscriptions or wrapping paper. Anyone need scented candles or hand cream made from elements harvested from the Dead Sea? How about Tupperware? Everyone needs a space-saving food storage system, right? Right?

Oh screw it. Anyone want to buy a box of cookies? It’s for a good cause, believe me.

Shelly Mazzanoble

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