Sunday, January 29, 2006

Fear Fatter

Sometimes, I fear little girls. Yes, cute, bright-eyed little girls. It’s a seasonal thing, going on right now, which is why I’m in here writing on a beautiful day when I could be outside working on my winter tan like most normal Southern Californians. I close the blinds, put on my security-blanket sweatshirt, and huddle over the pc, shivering. Move along, please, nothing to see here. Maybe if I stay very still and quiet, they won’t notice me.

But they come anyway, wave upon wave of them. They know my ruse. They’ve seen it many times before. We all know it doesn’t work, that eventually I’ll give in like all the others. They relish the thrill of the chase, the gradual wearing down of the hunted.

Hide the cholesterol, it’s Girl Scout Cookie Season. Like uniformed, pigtailed lemmings to the sea they swarm, surging over each other to fatten both suburbia and the Grand Poobah Girl Scout’s wallet.

They ding-dong my doorbell, invade my grocery store, and blink bright-eyed outside my church. "Oh, you already bought some?" their little faces start to melt. "That’s ok," their voices fade as they choke back a tear or two while they quietly bestow a pixie curse on your head. So evil, so knowing, so successful. How can you not buy from them?

"Already have the peanut butter ones? Have you tried the Thin Mints? We also have low-fat!" Do I look like I need low-fat? Girls can be so cruel.

Other organizations have the presence of mind to offer kinder and gentler promotions. Boy Scouts hit me up to buy popcorn every year, but hey, it’s in the fall and I can regift it at Christmas. Our school wants us to buy wrapping paper (with which to wrap the regifted popcorn), and I must say the wrapping paper doesn’t pack on the pounds. But here come the Girl Scouts in January, as we mourn our fattened credit card statements, and give up the ghost on our New Year’s resolutions. Those little chunky delights are there to help us drown our sorrows in Shortbread.

They’re good, but they’re not perfect. Think how much more money they’d make if they sold their ‘sucker’ list to a company like Weight Watchers. First the Scouts hit up the unsuspecting victim for a few boxes, then, when she’s finished scarfing down the last of them, prone on the couch and wearing sweatpants, they sic Jennie Craig on her.

Some day, little girl, you, too, will be old. Your doorbell will ring, and you’ll try to hide, but some spunky package of perkyness will get you, my pretty…and your little dogma, too.