Monday, March 17, 2008

Monstrous Commercialism

They come around once a year. I have not grown so addicted that I can predict when they are hear like a sixth sense, and every time it sneaks up on me. This year it was during an impromptu sugar-seeking excursion to Albertsons. I was entering and there they were--lurking behind a pillar like sirens.

I guess that's a bad simile. Sirens do call out a person's innermost desires, but they are also very beautiful. While Girl Scout Cookies are always a part of my desire, I have more imminent desires on that list, and God knows the cookie boxes should undergo some cosmetic surgery...maybe by the same people who dealt with Starbucks. But there they are, all the same.

Do not let these little girls fool you, either. They are shrewd business people. Their demographic: overweight, single women. In my area, we are a niche market and these piranahs pounce on me every chance they get.

I used to be a Girl Scout. I know how the tune goes. I am not trying to get a badge anymore, but if there was an Anti-Girl Scout Club, I would get a badge for refusing to take yet another student loan in order pay $4.00 for one box of Samoas. It is inhumane to make people (ok, me.) attached to these delicious renditions of the Twix-cum-cookie with coconut flakes and only bring them around once a year.

Honestly, that's basically what that Samoas cookie is, right? A Twix bar with coconut, and I have no idea why I love them so. I am not overly fond of Twix bars, nor of coconut. Combined, is, evidently, a lethal combination.

Then there is the Trefoil shortbread cookie. To be honest, I don't know why this is fetching $4.00 a box. I would rather eat the shortbread cookies with jelly that Knott's sells for $1.99. But people eat these up. "Can't get enough of that Girl Scout Shortbread!" Ugh.

Thin mints I can understand. Who is not seduced by that minty green box, promising the delight of mint flavored chocolate wafers dipped in chocolate? I know my family isn't. The other day, we found a box in my mom's freezer and ate it for dessert. To spice it up, I wanted to see how it tasted with marshmallow creme. Try marketing that, Girl Scouts!

But then if you aren't so into chocolate because it makes you break out, there is the "Thanks-A-Lot", which I think should be a complimentary cookie box with every purchase. "You just spent $20.00 on four boxes of Samoa cookies! Thanks-A-Lot is what we say!" And I wouldn't even begrudge Emerill a nice, loud "BAM!" of appreciation. I mean, the shortbread dipped in fudge with embossed "thank you" messages in five different language? Wow. What a decorative cookie. I can see why these might be $4.00 a box...

Two brands I would rather not see ever again, much less imagine spending $1.99 on are the Do-si-dos and Tagalongs. When I was a Girl Scout, I remembered selling TONS of these. I remember they were more popular with the men, but they would ask, "Do you have any of those peanut butter and chocolate cookies?" I would exclaim, "Yes! Tag along and buy them from me!"

Peanut butter and chocolate is...ok, I guess...but peanut butter and crunchy oatmeal? I don't hold it against the Girl Scout Corporation for trying to hide the ingredients to this gooey mess by calling it a Do-si-do. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I need a glass of milk.

The three cookies I have yet to try are the Lemonades, aka Lemon Chalet Cremes, the Cinna-spins, and the Sugar free Chocolate Chips. The later two seem to have been introduced in 2008, but I think I would rather fork out $4.00 for a Ben & Jerry's Cin-a-Bonn pint of ice cream than the cinnamon flavored cookies that come in 100-calorie packs, even if they are shaped like mini cinnamon rolls. And really...sugar free cookies is not a novel concept and it is requesting a lot of a person, regardless their intellectual capacity, to spend that much for a product that has been out for like, 25 years.

Lemonades...I am not sure how I would feel about buying these. I would have to have a free taste test or something, but with these little women in green suits looking out to find buyers to free up their mother's garage which is filled to the rafters with $7,000 worth of cookies to gain a badge that costs .10 cents to make, I cannot imagine anyone offering a free taste of anything.

Damn Girl Scouts.

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