January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012

The Cookie Crumbles

Getting people to buy things is hard. Anyone in sales can tell you this. That clothing/office product/newspaper doesn’t sell itself (items featuring the Kardashians excepted). You’ve got to package it, you’ve got to hawk it, you might even need to discount it. Luckily, these are all areas where the typical people in marketing or sales can have some input.

Not so with Girl Scouts and cookies, my friends. Not so.

Your humbler blogger was indeed a Brownie for several years during the ignominious time I refer to alternately as “childhood” and “my blue period.” I bought a jumper and a sash. I made crafts and got badges. And I sold cookies, a process much more scarring than anything you’d dream up with a hot glue gun and some wire hangers.

I guess the whole cookie selling riot is ostensibly to teach young women entrepreneurship and give them a taste of business. How this is supposed to be accomplished by forcing painfully-shy adolescents to bang on the doors of strangers, I don’t know. I had trouble interacting with people I knew well. Now I’m supposed to not only confront my neighbors, but ask them to give me money in exchange for baked goods? Oh REALLY?

And when I was a kid, we didn’t just set up a table in front of Walmart. For one, I don’t remember there being a Walmart. (I was born in 1867.) For two, you didn’t get the cookies up front. You got a piece of paper with pictures of the cookies, and you had to get your neighbors to sign up and give you money. ‘Twas a more trusting time, obviously. (Ah, Reconstruction.) Ideally, your parents would pass the form around at their workplaces and do the dirty work for you. Yet while my parents spoiled me in the other 99.9% of my “blue period,” this they refused to do. Dastardly!

Anyway, this semi-bitter reflection is all introduction to the fact that there’s a new flavor out: Savannah Smiles. If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of utter failure on behalf of the people who came up with this idea.

We don’t need another cookie. You got Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, and Samoas (my personal favorite, HINT). Fun fact: other varieties do exist, but no one in America cares. The three aforementioned varieties comprised 100% of cookie sales this past year. We as a nation do not acknowledge the other flavors. It’s not because they’re the moderately-healthy ones (shortbread?) or the vaguely-ethnic ones (dulce de leche?). It’s because the trio of Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, and Samoas satisfies our every cookie need. We are content.

We certainly don’t need a cookie with an indiscriminate name. Savannah Smiles? I think she does the weather on channel 4. I’m all about honoring the founder of the Girl Scouts (from Savannah, apparently) and I’m a big fan of lemon products, but FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, it’s as if these cookies were named via mad lib. “I need a place and a verb!”

While my sole basis to judge is my former membership in Brownie troop 469 (Clement Avenue School), that is way stronger than the nothingness on which my judgments are usually based. I may not have gone on to become an Eagle Scout or what-have-you, but I know Girl Scout cookies. And you, Savannah Smiles, are no Jack Kennedy Girl Scout cookie.

3 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke:

Mmmm...they look like dusty rocks...that's gonna be a hit. I can hear the clamour now: 'Mom, I need more Savannah Smiles for my model of Stonehenge!'

Update! Someone brought a box into the office today. I tried one. It was very lemony (good) and very powdery (not good). I'll feel as if I have powdered sugar on my face for the rest of the day.