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Wednesday

Girl Scout Thin Mints: Vanished into thin air ... or worse




Answering the door can be a risky proposition in my neighborhood, especially during Girl Scout Cookie selling season.

There I was, writing on deadline again, when the doorbell rang. Peeking through the window blinds, I spotted a tiny towhead on the front porch. Dressed in her Brownie uniform and holding a clipboard, little Katie Cooper was hard to resist. I hit “save” on my story and went to answer the door.

“Wanna buy some Girl Scout cookies?” Katie chirped. I glanced at the silver Saturn, parked in my driveway, just as Marva Cooper waved to me.

“Sure,” I replied. “How much for a box of  Thin Mints?”

“Umm. Thin Mints are $35 a box,” Katie answered with a straight face.

“Gee,” I said. “Somebody’s making a mint here!”

Still, I signed my name on little Katie’s clipboard  to order two boxes (Hey, they’re small!) and sent her off on her merry Brownie way.

I could almost taste those crunchy wafers, drowned in cool chocolate mintiness. Heaven in a box. 


Six long weeks passed, with no sign of Katie or her costly cookies.

In the meantime, I tried to stave off my chocolate mint cravings with mint chip ice cream, mint chocolate kisses, and after-dinnermints. But nothing seemed to satisfy.

Daily, I peeked through the blinds, looking for the Coopers’ silver sedan. I sat at my desk with writer’s block, probably induced by Thin Mint deprivation.

Finally, I could stand it no longer. I left my home for a quick trip to the grocery store, reentering the real world. Our pantry was bare. Surely, no cookie was worth hibernation and family nutritional deprivation.

I was gone for less than two hours. Returning home, I unloaded the brown paper grocery bags in the kitchen. As I unwrapped a bag of apples by the sink, I noticed that the spare change jar on the counter was open, and the level of coinage had dropped significantly.

Restocking the pantry shelves, I discovered an empty cookie box in the cupboard. Crestfallen, I read the label.

You guessed it. Thin Mints!

Both cellophane sleeves were gone. The box contained nothing but a sweet chocolate minty aroma.

I began gathering and interrogating the usual suspects.

“Who ate the Thin Mints?” I asked. No one answered.

"Where's the second box?" Still no answer.

That evening, as my family members were otherwise occupied, I began doing a little domestic reconnaissance. Under one child’s bed, I discovered a suspicious empty cellophane wrapper and some minty crumbs.

A bit later, while picking up towels in the bathroom, I found a rolled sleeve of Thin Mints, still unopened. It was wedged under a wadded tissue behind the commode, and the cat was trying to release it.

Of course, we had to toss the entire stack of Thin Mints. It was tragic!

Finally, the truth was told.

Apparently, while I was at the food market, Katie Cooper had made her long-awaited cookie drop. The kids had paid her, all in coins from the change jar. They split the box, secreting one sleeve of cookies for later. The cat had found the secret stash and rolled it across the upstairs hallway and into the bathroom.

The Oreos I’d picked up at the store that day didn’t hold the same appeal.

Images:
Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies
Product promotion photo / fair use

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Saturday

Antiquing makes me feel older than I am




Plenty of people love to pick through antique shops. Some may be hunting for deals and steals, but a lot seem to enjoy the nostalgia of examining cultural relics and pieces of history. Maybe that’s what antiquing is all about.

What is an antique, after all?

How old does a treasure or trinket have to be for collectors to call it an antique?

When it comes to automobiles, we tend to use the term for anything 25 years or older. But for vintage furniture, dishes, and other household goods, the standard may be 50 years or even 100. Period pieces date back to specific eras. OK, I get that. But how about more recent finds?

What about the quilted laptop case I spotted on my last jaunt? There it was, propped on a rickety rattan shelf, right next to a Civil War uniform and an Elvis nightlight.

How could a computer case qualify as an antique? Are laptops already considered to be obsolete and merely collectibles, much like veiled bonnets, scratched skillets, cracked cameos, vintage postcards, and tired toys?

Here’s the most curious part of antiquing – at least for me.

Poring through the past in an antique shop recently, I discovered tons of items that harkened back to my own childhood. From cartoon character and superhero lunchboxes to oldies vinyl records, and from cartoon-embossed jelly jar glasses to sports memorabilia, every booth took me back – way back.

I left the dusty old store feeling a little dustier and older than I’d been when I stepped inside. And I found myself wishing I had warehoused some of my own childhood keepsakes, so I could sell them to antique buffs today.

Hey, if I’ve gotta be old, I might as well make the most of it!

Images:
Adapted from public domain artwork

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Friday

What in the world is a green baby?




Sometimes weird questions stop us in our tracks. I saw a large paperback edition, titled “Green Baby” in a bookstore recently and had to wonder.

What is a green baby? And why would someone write a book about it?



Before shelling out a pile of greenbacks to pick up the book about green babies, I had to peek inside the volume. Was it about creepy alien offspring, children with exceptional gardening expertise, little ones displaying acute sibling rivalry, vegan parenting, or something else altogether?

Was there some sort of strange Green Baby Syndrome about which I was uninformed?



At last, my curiosity was satisfied, and my querulous quandary was set to rest. The book was apparently all about eco-friendly parenting – how to raise children in an environmentally responsible way. Perhaps not surprisingly, I found several books with similar titles and emphases. Here are a few examples:


OK, that may be helpful stuff, but why did I suddenly feel a hankering to peruse the latest releases in the science fiction department for works on Green Babies?

Images:
Adapted from public domain artwork

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