Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's that most wonderful time of the year!

It's Girl Scout Cookie Season!. Trans fats be damned, it's that time of year when everyone's your neighbor, every officemate is your buddy, and every dentist gets busy. It was only a few short weeks ago that a veritable gaggle of little girls in their brown outfits and green sashes (or was that green outfits and brown sashes...I wasn't paying attention) knocked on our door every five minutes, thrusting glossy forms filled with cookies and columns in our faces. At work, at least a dozen dads hot-glue-gunned order forms to their office doors and cubicle walls, then dragged their coworkers by the Herman Millers over to their offices, threatening to blackmail them if they didn't order thirty boxes each.

Delivery day arrived, and now the office hallways are littered with shipping cartons with the famous shamrock logo on them. Trolling through the boxes are the forlorned, hungry worker bees who at one time felt they were being pennywise and diet-conscious by not ordering any cookies, only now hoping to find a Samoa scrap or two hiding amongst the corrugated.

I feel it appropriate to mention that in the time it took for me to write the above, I consumed twenty-eight Thin Mints and a Tag-along.

This week's calorie-fest got me to thinking...where, exactly, are Girl Scout Cookies manufactured, and how? I mean, how does a factory survive by delivering a massive volume of product, all at once, and only once per year? I really wanted to know more. So, I dug out my trusty internet connection, and did my research. Here's what I found.

It seems that deep within the Arctic permafrost, south of the North Pole but north of, say, Cleveland, is a massive factory, approximately the size of twelve Wal-Marts. The factory is staffed year-round by the elderly. New employees are found by recruiters who troll the Mall of America early in the morning, looking for elderly mall-walkers who need a hobby. These recruits are promised a warm bed, all the Matlock they can watch, and a free LifeCall alert necklace in case they fall and can't get up.

Once the new staffers arrive at the factory, they go through intensive training on how to cook millions upon millions of cookies, batch by batch, so that they all look exactly the same, without losing their minds. These training courses are led by Girl Scouts from around the country whose parents think they are at Summer Camp making leather friendship bracelets and riding ponies around the lake. During the training, whipping and demoralization is permitted, all in an effort to keep the breakeven cost at $3.50 per box.

The factory workers spend countless weeks baking their batches of cookies and flash-freezing them in the Arctic permafrost. This happens year-round in an effort to ensure there are enough cookies to go around when February comes.

It's important to note that, in America, the drug trade decreases tremendously in February. This is not because of cold weather, but rather because throughout the country drug dealers are contracted to get the millions of boxes of cookies delivered to the local schools and Girl Scout packs. The reason for this is simple. The right tool for the right job. If anyone knows how to deliver product efficiently, it's the drug cartel.

Think about all this while you chomp your Trefoils, knowing that with every bite you're helping the elderly and a drug dealer is temporarily distracted from his regular job of delivering addictive product to kids. Oh, wait....

Please note that no actual Girl Scouts were harmed during the research for this story. Plenty of Thin Mints were eaten though, and I brushed my teeth eight times today.

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