Small Wonders: Surviving the Girl Scout cookie storm

Did you survive the storm last week?

I'm not talking about a meteorological event, but a saccharine-sweet cultural tempest that just swept through not only our community, but the nation.

I'm talking about Girl Scout cookie time.

Though the eye of the storm has passed, you can still find them in front of Pavilions and Virgil's Hardware, Ralph's and CVS. After that frenzied first week cookies are released, things have settled down to a Tagalong-induced self-loathing lull. Thankfully, we only have a few spare boxes of Thin Mints left in our house.

If you don't have a Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette or Brigadier General at home, you are surely no more than one degree removed from an amazing, beautiful and unique young lady who is growing into womanhood by making sure the rest of us have delicious cookies to gorge ourselves upon.

So don't fight it.

When you see them outside the market, too cute and cuddly for words, asking you in their most innocently deviant tones if you'd like to buy some cookies, don't say things like “I'm watching my weight,” or “Oh, sorry, I'm allergic....”

Buying Girl Scout cookies does not mean you have to eat them. It is perfectly acceptable to re-gift these cookies or take them to work. An open box of cookies in the break room, where your co-workers can secretly grab some and chipmunk them away at their desk, is what Girl Scout cookies were meant for. That, and movie night at home after the kids have gone to bed.

Selling Girl Scout cookies is one of the few things kids can still do outdoors without getting ticketed for not having a permit, and doesn't require the Internet to enjoy. They learn the valuable life lessons of goal-setting, decision-making and money management while improving their people skills and business ethics.

And I would add to that: how to make others feel bad about themselves while feeling good about themselves — a truly invaluable talent that will serve them well in the long road of life.

I was lucky this year, in that I was the only person on my floor at work with an enticing display of cookies on my desk calling co-workers like the Sirens' song.

For the record, I didn't sell any cookies. To me, “selling” means trying to get people to buy something, even if they don't need it. I didn't have to try. I merely showcased a selection of irresistible treats. If someone chose to buy a box, or five, I enabled them on my daughter's behalf.

Like legal crack.

Most people act shy and reluctant when the cookies come out, as if they're being forced to do something against their will. They hesitantly say things like, “I shouldn't....” and “I don't think I have any cash....” And then, after they've gotten that out of their system, they attack you with a detailed order like a six-year-old reciting his Christmas list.

“I'll take four Samoas, three Tagalongs, three Do-Si-Dos and eight Thin Mints. Can I write you a check?”

In my unscientific poll, I found Samoas and Thin Mints by far the most popular. They're bought by people who know what they want and aren't ashamed to get it. They're followed closely by Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos, bought by people with hidden desires who secretly love romance novels.

I don't know who buys Thank You Berry Much and Shortbreads. I suppose if my grandmother was alive, she would.

And then there is the unsung hero, the one cookie everyone should be buying, but few do. Savannah Smiles. Light, crispy, tangy and delicious. Take my word on this one. You won't regret it.

It's timely that this year's Girl Scout cookie season coincides with my newest hobby and vice. Working out. That's right. I joined a gym.

Sitting in an office five days a week, my midsection has begun to resemble a pot-bellied stove. I was embarrassing my family while walking the dogs wearing my cutoff-midriff Frankie Goes to Hollywood T-shirt. Or maybe it was the too-short dolphin shorts.

Heck, who am I kidding? It doesn't matter what I wear, I embarrass my family.

So I am doing my best to squeeze in a workout during lunch and after work. Luckily it's also a tax deduction, since the gym is a great place to gather more topics for future columns.

And there's nothing like rewarding one's self with eight to 10 cookies after a workout — something to keep the energy up, of course.

PATRICK CANEDAY doesn't care how “desperate” Nicolette Sheridan is. Friend him on Facebook. Contact him at Read more at

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