February 23rd, 2019
I was walking Shocky along Oakwood Road. It had been raining earlier, rain mixed with snow. I took Shocky out after the rain stopped, even though the skies were still cloudy and dark. I usually walk Shocky for two miles. It is one mile from our house to the railroad tracks, and then another mile back home.
There is a subdivision next to Oakwood that screams: “Money!” The subdivision is filled with McMansions that surround the shores of a man made lake. Each house is different is a similar way. They obviously have a strict building code in the neighborhood. It’s all about keeping the property values up and the riffraff out.
As I walked the dog, I noticed that a girl and her mom had set up a table at the entrance to the subdivision in order to sell Girl Scout cookies. They have sold their cookies at this exact time in February during each of the last few years. Their presence on the street is almost like the first sign of spring. I never stopped to buy cookies from them in the past, but now they were literally in my way, so I decided to stop and talk with them.
Both the teenage girl and her mother wore dark sunglasses. I found this to be odd, since the sky was overcast and the weather was gloomy. I felt like I was meeting a female version of the Blues Brothers. I walked up to talk with the daughter, who reminded me of Elwood.
“Hi”, I said.
The girl looked at me (well, I think she looked at me), and she smiled. She also said, “Hi.”
Her mother, Joliet Jake, said nothing.
The daughter had long auburn hair, and she wore a vest adorned with a variety of Girl Scout merit badges. I would guess that she was fifteen or sixteen years old. She had on jeans and ugg boots.
I broke the silence, “Well, give me you sales pitch.”
Then I asked her, “So what do Girl Scouts do?”
She wasn’t expecting that. Her mind was racing behind her sunglasses to come up with an answer.
She said in a sing song voice, “Well, we just had a big meeting where we celebrated the diversity of Girl Scouts. You know, like, we talked about scouts from China and Germany.”
“Really? What do Girl Scouts in China and Germany do?”
She smiled, “Oh, they do the same things that we do.”
“So, you celebrated the fact that other Girl Scouts are the same as you?”
“Oh, well, not exactly…”
Joliet Jake was getting edgy next to us. I could sense the tension.
I asked, “So, really, what do you guys do?”
The girl replied brightly, “We do community work.”
“Well, when people ask us, we donate cookies to them.”
I was stunned by that answer. “Uh, yeah, sooooo when somebody asks you for help, you give them cookies?”
The mom piped up, “We also donate the proceeds from our cookie sales. We give to food banks and that sort of thing.”
I told them, “I do volunteer work with refugees. Do you get involved with people who are struggling, or is this kind of a white bread, suburban thing?”
Joliet Jake answered, “Oh, we go into the inner city.”
I bet you do.
I asked the girl, “How much are the cookies?”
I reached into my wallet and pulled out a five. I handed it to her.
“Okay, this is what we’ll do. I will give this. I don’t need change back. I am going to walk my daughter’s dog down to the tracks and back again. When I come back, you will hand me a box of cookies. You decide what to give me. Make it a surprise.”
By all objective standards, I was a total smart ass with this Girl Scout. I felt good about it. She needs to be able to intelligently describe her organization. I laughed to myself as I walked along.
Shocky and I made the return journey. As I got close, I saw that Elwood had a box of cookies in her hand. She saw me coming.
I got up to her and she handed me the package of S’mores.
I asked her, “So, what is your name.”
She smiled and said, “Meghan.”
I turned to the mother and asked the same thing.
She replied, “I’m Brenda.”
I laughed and said, “I thought you went by ‘Mom’ “.
She laughed and said, “That works too.”
“I’m Frank and this is Shocky.”
They smiled and nodded.
I told them, “Thanks for the cookies!”, and I walked off.
When I got home, Karin and I opened the box and sampled the contents.
The Girl Scouts have awesome cookies.