Give in to the Girl Scouts….

Published 10:49 pm Saturday, January 7, 2012

It doesn’t really seem fair, when you stop and think about it.

Just when many of us are reaching the point at which New Year’s resolutions begin to meet the sad reality of weak will, along come gaggles of giddy little girls in green and brown, offering the promise (without, perhaps, actually saying the words) of comfort and happiness in small cardboard boxes.

The Girl Scouts of the USA could have chosen any time of year to sell their addictive little packages of diet busters. They could sell them during the summer, when beach vacations and outdoor pursuits help keep many of us focused on eating well and staying healthy. They could have chosen to sell cookies during the fall, when the rush of back-to-school might distract us from the temptation that oozes from a box of Tagalongs.


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Instead, they start their annual sale a couple of weeks after Christmas, just long enough that holiday leftovers are a fading memory, and Aunt Hilda’s homemade Double Chocolate Peanut Goo Bars (with bacon crumbles) are no longer around to compete. Capitalizing on the ancient human instinct to fatten up for a winter inside the cave, the Girl Scouts choose these (normally) bitter weeks of winter to peddle the warmth and satisfaction that comes from snagging the last Samoa.

It’s marketing turned into a science. It’s sales technique turned into a force of nature. Harness the power of the 8-year-old girl hawking a box of Thin Mints, and we’d be able to start pumping oil back into the Earth. She is an irresistible force. It took three spirits and a crippled little boy to warm the cold heart of old Ebenezer Scrooge. A Girl Scout with a box of Dulce de Leches could have walked away from his office with a blank check and an order to deliver a case to the Cratchit household.

There will be no safe place from the dark power of the Do-Si-Do during the next few weeks. Work in an office? You’re easy prey. Some little Scout’s mother or aunt works there, too, and she has a thousand-row Lotus spreadsheet she updates with cookie preferences for everyone in the building. Her efficiency in this regard makes Santa’s little operation look like a benefit event organized by a group of early rejects from The Apprentice.

Do you attend church? Are you a member of a community organization like the Ruritans or Lions or Rotary? Same thing. You might want to consider skipping meetings for the next few weeks if you hope to stick with your diet. And stay off Facebook, because savvy Girl Scout moms have learned that a little bit of Internet guilt goes a long way. It won’t be long before you have to choose between a very public commitment to a case of Trefoils or blocking updates from that old high school friend forever.

One way or another, this time of year, the Girl Scouts have got you in a corner. How about a nice box of the new Savannah Smiles while you’re there? They’re crumbly and lemony, and inspired by the home of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low.

You know you want to try them…. You know you can’t resist the power of the Girl Scouts…. Just give in to the inevitable…. Go ahead and order two boxes.