Ageism, Girl Scout Cookies, and the Internet

Today, within ten minutes of each other, my Bloglines threw up this Penny Arcade comic “Unfair Business Practices” and this post by the Passionate Eater.

I’m not going to knock the Girl Scout cookies. I’m a customer for life, because like all good marketers, they got me early.

Like a lot of important people, I was a Girl Scout for nine years, right into high school. The cookie sales are THE fundraiser for Girl Scout troops, about 80-90% of the individual troop budget comes from the $0.55 cut they get out of your cookie purchase, and all the camps and trainings and event days (which are THE BEST part of being a Girl Scout) come from the two bucks the local council gets.

But what both the Passionate Eater and my sekrit boyfriends over at Penny Arcade point to is that it’s hard to resist a cute widdle kid in the green vests.

When you’re a pimply, gangly, gawky teenager in a blue vest, people don’t think twice about saying, “Aren’t you TOO OLD to be a Girl Scout?”

I always wanted to invent a time machine so I can go back to the jerks who repeatedly said that to us as we tried to sell our cookies, “Without Girl Scouts in middle and high school, I wouldn’t have half the leadership skills I do! And I’m a teenage girl standing over there! My self-esteem is already two steps from diving off into Insanityland, you’re saying that having a group that’s designed to empower me to be my own woman and not listen to jackwads who say my worth is directly tied to how well I act and dress and behave like Slutty McSlutterville is a BAD THING?!?!”

This year, though I searched valiantly, there were no Girl Scout parents/grandparents/neighbors in my circle of acquaintances. So I went to the Columbia River Council webpage to see if I could track down a local troop, and they had a form to fill out to ORDER GIRL SCOUT COOKIES.

Hot damn. I loves me the Internet.

But the great joy I got was when the delivery came. And my dealer was of middle-school age.

I had bought five boxes (Tagalongs, Trefoils, Samoas, Thin Mints, and one for the local food bank), which came out to $17.50. I handed the kid two twenties and said, “Keep the change.”

I confused her, but damn, it was nice to see an older Girl Scout.

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7 Responses to Ageism, Girl Scout Cookies, and the Internet

  1. I don’t understand why Eagle Scouts (the highest level in the Boy Scouts) are looked upon so favorably and so many people have no idea that the Girl Scouts continue on after the 5th Grade. You’re right about commending the program for instilling skills into young women though! I was a Girl Scout too, and it definitely gave me life skills.

  2. Renee says:

    Hey–I’m a 17-year-old Girl Scout. Totally hear you. 🙂

  3. At least the Girl Scouts have some original product (I like the shortbreads). I saw some Boy Scouts in front of the Fred Meyer selling Kit-Kats for $1.00 – I 300% markup from what you can get in the store.

    Talk about some lazy fuckers – it’s like they went to aisle 7, hit the express aisle, then pitched a fold-up table and said, “give me a teat to suckle, I’m an entitlement asshole”.

    And those kids probably do buy drugs, that is with whatever is left over after their troop leaders fund their ongoing efforts to hate on the gays.

  4. Sorcha says:

    GC, my son’s a Cub Scout and believe it or not, it’s not all about gay-hating. Last summer, the older brother of one of his fellow Cub Scouts became an Eagle Scout. Both of his mothers had been very involved with his Scouting career through the years, and one of them said as an aside to me, “I’m pretty sure my son wins the award for most lesbians at an Eagle ceremony.” Whatever the misguided position of the head honchos, believe me, it’s not always like that at ground level, especially not in Portland.

    Are you sure it was Boy Scouts selling the Kit-Kats? Like, were they in uniform and all that? I only ask because it sounds kinda off – if they were really Scouts and selling candy it should’ve been the obvious fundraising packaging on it, you know? Our Cubs usually sell popcorn in various forms, and that’s some grubbin’ shit right there.

    On other matters, Mary Sue, I tried one of the chocolate Lara Bars the other day thanks to your enthuiastic recs and they were also grubbin’.

    A Boy Scout mother at my office was selling Kit-Kats and beef jerky sticks. So it’s something that at least some of ’em are doing… *shrugs* I think also that the BSA reacted on the issue of homosexuality out of two reasons: 1) liability issues, which, yeah, I get a little if I’m thinking like a stupid lawyer, and 2) most troops are sponsored by religious organizations, and a huge percent of those religious organizations are Mormon. Also, I think that there were more lesbians at my friend’s Eagle Scout ceremony in 1998— since he is gayer than a gay thing on Gay Day in Gaydonia, and, well, *I* was there… 😀 —Mary Sue

  5. Sorcha, you know anything I ever say is rarely to been taken at face value 🙂

  6. Sorcha says:

    *G* I dunno, we haven’t known each other very long – though it did make me squeeful when I realized you’d linked to foodn00bs from your blog. 😉

    I will say this about that particular Eagle Scout ceremony – the elderly gentleman from the Elks Lodge who was there to present the young Eagle with his American flag seemed more than a little confused, between the number of lesbians and little purple-haired me, with my relatively normal looking husband (though he is just shy of seven feet) and Cub Scout son in tow.

  7. Jodi says:

    Sluttly McSluttersville. Lolz.
    Will continue to buy, and wanted you to know that it’s mostly because of your posts. In fact, I’m going to seek out teen/tween dealer outside a grocery store if I can. I remember selling every goddamn thing I could to be able to go on band trips, and I know it gave me the confidence I have to get turned down for all sorts of shit and BS my way through job interviews. A girl with braces selling boxes of citrus so she can go with her marching band to Cedar Point. Does it get any geekier?

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