At my house, the day Girl Scout cookies arrive is kind of like a holiday, on par with J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday and Tax Freedom Day — theoretically, the day we stop working to pay the government, which usually comes in late April but in the near future may be pushed back to early May. Or mid-August. Or Dec. 31.
Anyway, we have several friends whose daughters are Girl Scouts (but none whose sons are Girl Scouts, although that’s probably coming, too), and we always buy four boxes from each. And always Thin Mints, by the way. I’m aware, cognitively, that they make other types, but at our house, “Girl Scout cookies” and “Thin Mints” are essentially synonymous.
Why four boxes from each girl, you ask? Well, there are four members of my household: my wife and I and our two teenage sons. Therefore the total number of boxes we bring into the house must be divisible by four. Otherwise, there could be major problems. I’m talking about the potential for violence.
And none of us wants that, because we all know Mom would win.
(Note, by the way, that I specified “the total number of boxes we bring into the house.” That’s because I’ve been known to buy a box from the girls selling them in front of Kroger, drive to the end of a lonely dirt road, and polish off the whole thing by myself.)
But back to the boxes we bring home. We buy them in multiples of four, divide them up evenly, and then guard them zealously. I have a box right now sitting in the fridge — I always keep my Thin Mints in the fridge — with a note scrawled on the outside in Sharpie: “Dad’s. Keepa you hands off!”
So obviously, at our house, Girl Scout cookies are a big deal. Imagine my panic, then, when the other day I temporarily misplaced my last box of Thin Mints. Fortunately, I found it, on the table, right underneath a postage stamp.
Seriously, have you noticed how small the boxes have gotten? I know this is happening with a lot of food products these days, such as cereal: instead of raising the prices, manufacturers just make the container smaller. Or sometimes they keep the same container and just put less Froot Loops in it. And then they raise the price, too.
But the Girls Scouts? I never thought they’d succumb to such evil market forces. Honestly, I’d rather they raised the price a dollar a box and gave me more cookies. Because if there’s anything I need, by golly, it’s more cookies.
At least there’s one good thing about the smaller box: I can easily hide it in my pants. No more driving down lonely dirt roads for me. If you need me, I’ll be in my upstairs closet with the light off and the door locked.
Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and the author of “Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility.” Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter @rjenkinsgdp, and visit www.familymanthebook.com.