Tom Purcell, 1/14/2008 [Archive]

Why Girl Scout Cookies Must Be Banned

Why Girl Scout Cookies Must Be Banned

By Tom Purcell

The Girl Scout cookie season is upon us. That means one thing. The annual cookie sale must be banned.

How can we allow anyone, in these progressive times, to inflict empty calories on an already obese public?

How can we be so inconsiderate to diabetics and others who are unable to consume sugar?

How can we allow any organization, regardless of its cause, to use children to pimp products loaded with trans fat, the partially hydrogenated oil that Americans fear more than communism?

It is true that the Girl Scouts organization was founded in 1912 to help girls develop physically, mentally and spiritually. I know the annual cookie sale has become a tasty part of American culture since it originated in 1917.

But the fact is this: The annual sale is teaching girls TERRIBLE values.

It is teaching them raw capitalism -- how to exploit the weak and the helpless. My own niece, an otherwise sweet and lovely child, knows I can't help but eat shortbread cookies by the row. I eat Thin Mints as though they were Tic Tacs. I down Peanut Butter Patties the way grizzlies dine on wild salmon.

I'm addicted. But rather than protect me from my addiction, she preys on me. She calls or visits just before dinner -- when I am at my most hungry and vulnerable. She tells me about her troop's good deeds and how my order will fund even more.

The clever little manipulator always walks away with a sizable order.

All Girl Scouts do. They probably meet in private to laugh about the helplessness of their victims -- they laugh about the strong-arm techniques they use to part friends, family and neighbors from their hard-earned dough.

In the process, they are destroying our environment. More than 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold every year -- that's $700 million in annual revenue. Precious trees must be felled to farm the grains and sugars needed to produce them -- trees that are essential to dissipating carbon dioxide.

What's worse, as those cookies are manufactured, packaged and shipped, more carbon dioxide is pumped into the air. That's right, the Girl Scouts are causing the Arctic ice cap to melt. The next time you dip a shortbread cookie into a cup of milk, the least you can do is remember the starving polar bears stranded on hideously small ice floes.

That's why the annual Girl Scout cookie sale must end.

Look, if the Girl Scouts want to teach girls how to market products and manage inventory and money, can't they be more socially responsible? Instead of selling cookies, why not sell low-energy-consumption light bulbs? Why not sell something that makes the girls aware of man's thoughtless destruction of our fragile ecosystems?

Better yet, instead of teaching the girls the principles of capitalism, why not teach them how to be government bureaucrats instead? America is moving toward European-style socialism. The careers of the future will be in government, not the private sector. Why not have the government produce a pamphlet on the harmful effects of cookies, then mandate that the girls develop a program to distribute it?

Sure, I know some people will criticize me for demanding an end to the cookie sale. They'll say that it really does teach girls useful business skills. They'll say that it's as much a part of American culture as baseball and apple pie -- that we should celebrate it and enjoy it. They'll say that America has real problems and that I ought to focus on those rather than something as harmless as a lousy cookie sale.

Well, nuts to that. I urge you to write your senator and congressperson. If the Girl Scouts won't willingly stop foisting their cookie pox on the rest of us, we must use the might of the federal government to mandate a ban on their annual sale.

I hope the ban goes into effect before my niece talks me into placing another order.

Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons. For comments to Tom, please email him at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.

RESTRICTIONS: 'Tom Purcell's column may not be reprinted in general circulation print media in Pennsylvania's Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties. It may appear only in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and its sister publications."

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