Original photo(cc) by: Brian LeGate
I was shocked a few nights ago when a little urchin actually came to my front door! Looking through the peep hole I couldn't see who was there so asked "what do you want?" A tiny little voice said, "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?"
Alas, but I had no money to do so, but certainly would have since she was doing it old school, pulling a little red wagon behind her with her supplies on board, momma only along to stand guard for would be cookie thieves, and nothing more.
I've gotten used to hearing a chorus of high pitched voices every time I get near the front door of the Albany Safeway, especially on weekends, mid-February and mid-March.
Though their voices may be high enough to break glass, to the mere mortal, such as I, they are more like the melodic sounds of the Sirens of Greek Mythology, drawing us to their cookie tables with names like Somoas®, Tagalongs®, Do-Si-Dos® or Thin Mints® (among others), only to hook us into a life long craving!!
* * *
A couple days later, I saw a television news piece announcing sales were starting up again. Needless to say, it has been reinstalled! Apple fan boys take heart, the Girl Scouts are equal opportunity and have an iPhone app as well.
These handy apps let a person find the nearest cookie stand, and what hours they will operate.
Additionally, if you don't have a smart phone, you can always go to their website finder and search by your zip code.
I was surprised to see they are going to have stands set up in front of several Peet's Coffee locations. It's one thing for a retail store to allow this, but a coffee shop that's probably undercutting sales of their own pastries and cookies? THAT'S AWESOME!! (Did they allow that last year? I honestly don't remember seeing that).
I did find it odd that they were set up in front of the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Not only is the area rather unsanitary, it's loaded with pan-handlers and homeless who typically beg for money handouts. I can only imagine the constant harassment the poor little girls are being exposed to as they're trying to sell their cookies.
* * *
When I was in Boy Scouts, we had annual fund raisers where we sold things such as candy bars or Christmas wreaths. While these may have been long standing programs, they were nowhere nearly as iconic as the Girl Scout Cookie drive.
I really applaud the Girl Scouts who go out and do their sales, especially any that go door-to-door. They're learning marketing and communication skills, not to mention the basics of math, usually without a calculator; something seemingly lacking in the video game age population.
I always thought it was depressing when parents would come around work selling cookies for their children.
At one place I was at, if one person found out you bought cookies from another co-worker's "daughter," you had to naturally buy them from "her" daughter too. (Needless to say, neither daughter ever set foot in the building!).
While you can use the web to find out all sorts of information on this year's cookie varieties, the Girl Scouts haven't bowed to technological pressure and set up an online cookie sale outlet.
To do so would rub a tremendous amount of luster off the program as I think it's the smiling little faces that make them different, and not just another box of cookies.
* * *
This year, I've seen some posts complaining about the fact that none of the cookie varieties are Gluten-free, and how they need to be made healthier.
If any of you have purposely went shopping for gluten-free ingredients you know how much more costly they can get. They'd never be able to maintain the pricing if they had to factor an ingredient increase from the baker.
Beside, if you're going to wolf down a whole box of Thin Mints® in one sitting, I don't care how healthy there are. That's never a good idea.
Should you decide you just aren't into the whole cookie scene you can still give money to a good cause by donating through the Cookie Share Program. The purchased products will be distributed to non-profit organizations in your area so others, who might not be able to afford them, can enjoy these tantalizing treats.
It may sound silly, but I can only imagine the warm feelings of home our overseas soldiers get when they receive some Girls Scout cookies.
* * *
Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos and Thin Mints are registered trademarks of Girl Scouts of the United States of America.