Some addictions can never be cured, only pampered.
I was a Cub Scout for a short time growing up, like many other young boys. It was just another thing we did in the cycle of activities, including basketball, little league, and soccer. As we got older, spots and sports would change in the cycle. Some went on to the actual Boy Scouts while others went on to do something else, just like how many that played soccer went on to play football when we were old enough. For the time we were all in Cub Scouts, though, it was a lot of fun. When you're a kid you never really think about what you're doing, you are just happy to be with your friends, wherever you are doing whatever you're doing.
This all of course took place when we were still sexually segregated, and happily so. Some stuff like soccer or youth group or 4H was coed, but still, girls were gross. To this day I sometimes find myself at a party standing in a circle of guys, the opposite corner of the girls' circle. That's just how it is sometimes, and that was how it always was during youth. Only moms were OK, but that's just because they made brownies and took you to the doctor and hung out with dads and stuff. Moms rule.
As a young boy and wearer of the felt sash, i.e. a Cub Scout, I despised the Girl Scouts. A club for girls? No way man! They don't even like worms. How can you have a club without worms!?!? What are you going to tell me next, that they have to wear skirts as part of their uniform?
I did not despise their cookies, however. Girl Scout Cookies are the most interesting, incredible, delicious seasonal phenomenon in the entire country, maybe the world. People go crazy for Pumpkin Spice in the fall, but that's just because it's fall and by that point in the year people are clinging to the last fun ideas afloat before the inevitable insanity we all undergo during the winter months. Girl Scout Cookies are the real deal. They're so good, each and every flavor. And in the spring, or whatever two month period they are sold during wherever they are sold, they bring hope, joy, and milk-dunking goodness to all those who eat them. People come out of the woods just for Girl Scout Cookies, lining up like a new Apple product is for sale. We all can't get enough of them. We never will.
As a boy I never considered the royal GSC, Girl Scout Cookies in short, to be associated with our female scout counterparts. I knew girls sold them and that they were all over the boxes and whatnot, but to me, GSCs were a gift to the world merely merchanted by the Girl Scouts. It was like a peace treaty for all of us people to share in. Yes, we Cub Scouts disliked the Girl Scouts, but it was not for their own pursuit of badges or fantastic cookie entrepreneurship. We disliked the Girl Scouts for what they were at their roots: girls.
And we disliked girls for the deepest, darkest, most mysterious of truths: because for some reason, some sick, cruel, twisted, cursed and cursing reason, we liked girls.
This mysterious, dark truth made more sense to all of us boys as we grew up. At first we began to realize we could coexist with girls, even tolerate them. From there and with the introduction of what they call "hormones," this tolerance became a want. We wanted, no, needed to be with girls, to be wanted by girls, to buy them, well, crap. Finally, when we were the most switched one hundred eighty degrees, the most in the hunt to understand why we liked girls so much, the mystery finally unveiled itself. Other girls, certain special girls, could become moms. Yes, moms. As men and future dads, this meant all kinds of plain good stuff. The whole gambit. No merit badge could teach us this merit.
That's why there's no man scouts or woman scouts. No one would ever get any work done.
But, just because we figure this all out as adults does not mean we should let our guards down to new generations of smiling box-pushers.
My mouth felt weird, felt wrong. Empty. I wasn't hungry, but I needed to eat. I needed to eat something sweet. I craved for sweetness.
I got off the worn couch in my living room and went into the kitchen. I opened the cheap wooden cabinets of my crappy apartment. There were no colorful cardboard carriers as I'd expected, the goods I was addicted to. All that sat in the sweets cupboard was an old, half empty bag of Kraft Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows. I grabbed a handful and tossed them back as I closed the cabinet doors. They were good, but not what I was looking for.
I needed Girl Scout Cookies. I needed them fast.
A bang came at my door.
Here already? I thought as I buttoned up my flannel shirt and zipped up my pants. The guys were coming over to my house for a few beers before we were going to go out for the night, but that was still a few hours away. Puzzled, I walked to and opened the door.
"Hello, Mac," said a voice, quite matter of factly. She stood just over four feet tall, wearing black shoes, white knee high socks, a khaki skirt, and a black north face zip up. She had brown hair pulled back by a red headband. Her lips were tense and her face was stern. Most intimidating, though, she wore a green sash over her jacket, littered with more badges than I'd ever seen.
She was Rhonda Corcoran, the most notorious GSC dealer in town.
"Oh, hi Rhonda!" I said, trying to act cool. I ran my hand threw my hair and leaned in the doorframe.
"You owe me money," she said, crossing her arms over her chest.
Be cool, be strong, I though. I pulled back my shoulder blades and took in a big breath, trying to make myself as tall as possible. "Do I? Man, I totally must have marked the wrong--"
"Stop." She held out her hand, arm straight as an arrow. Her arm didn't even shake. "You know I know you know you owe me."
I exhaled. It was no use trying to act tough now. Besides, even at my tallest I wasn't near as tall as Rhonda Corcoran. The downsides of being the smallest man in the world. "Come on in, I'll get my wallet."
I turned and walked in. Rhonda followed. She slammed the door shut behind her, wobbling the pictures on the wall beside it. I went into the living room and fumbled through my jacket pockets, looking for my wallet. "Do you want a glass of water? Milk? Juice?"
Rhonda walked toward my fridge, staring down the pictures I had pinned to it. "Let's not make this longer than we have to."
I found my wallet, a faded old leather wallet I bought at the mall back in high school. I flipped it from hamburger-fold to straight and opened the cash slot. It was empty. I quickly flipped it back closed and put it away.
I heard the flutter of papers falling to the floor. I looked up. Rhonda had pulled all the magnets off the fridge. She was facing me. She had seen my empty wallet.
"Whoops, I'm sorry," she said. One by one she dropped the magnets to the dirty white linoleum floor. "Looks like my hands are empty, too."
"Rhonda, I can explain--"
Rhonda turned toward the cabinet. "That's OK, Mac. Relax. I'll just take back some of--" She opened the doors, revealing the empty sweet stash. "What a surprise, it's all gone."
I rubbed my hands together, nervous. "I can go down to the ATM! I'll just pay back the overdraft fee when I get my next paycheck!"
Rhonda was walking back toward the door. "Don't worry about it, really." She opened the door and took a step out, but stopped. Slowly, she turned to face me again. Rhonda grabbed the broom next to the door. The only broom I owned. Keeping eye contact with me, she slowly brought the broom up parallel to the floor, shoulder high. Rhonda brought it down onto her knee, breaking it in two. She tossed the broom onto the pile of papers and pictures from the fridge. "You can just pay me whenever you get the money."
Rhonda walked out, slowly closing the door. Before closing it all the way, she paused again. "I would advise that to be as soon as possible." She closed the door, gently this time. Eerily gently.
I looked at the mess in my kitchen. Not even a broom to sweep it up with, I thought.
"Well thank you so much, Mr. Samson," said the kind, smiling Mrs. Corcoran. She stood in the door of her beautiful Victorian home. "I'll be sure to give this to Rhonda right away."
"Thank you so much, mam," I said. It felt good to give Rhonda the money I owed, but I was tired, fatigued. As Mrs. Corcoran closed the door, I looked into the living room. Rhonda sat at a table doing her homework. She gave me a deathly gaze as the door closed shut.
I walked back to my car and got in. The walk back made me even more exhausted. I just sat there for a moment. My head felt foggy and my vision was a little off. I reached into my pocket and took out a cookie that the nurse had given me after donating my plasma.
It was a crispy, firm, dry cookie. Just the right amount of sweet, but not too sweet.
A Shortbread cookie, otherwise known as a Trefoils.
Even medical professionals know that the only treatment to cure a weary body is a Girl Scout Cookie.