Monday, October 15 , 2018, 9:28 pm | Fair 60º


Tom Purcell: Washington Is My Only Hope Against Girl Scout Cookies

I’m on a diet — a miserable diet — just as millions of Americans are during January every year. And to be successful, I want the federal government to intervene.

We’re fighting an obesity battle in America, after all.

Our capitalistic system has accomplished economic miracles across every area of our lives. However, regrettably, capitalistic efficiency has also produced an abundance of low-fiber, high-calorie, refined-sugar foods — which our bodies convert into instant chubbiness.

That’s why, reports Fortune, more than 70 percent of Americans are either obese or overweight — and why childhood obesity is growing at a frightening rate.

And so we go on diets every January, which makes most of us miserable.

I’m on a low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie diet — a trifecta of misery. I am getting by on only 1,300 or 1,400 calories a day.

I experience tremendous anguish when I see someone enjoying sweets or a frothy beer, or pretty much anything else that tastes good and makes me happy.

I am giving up almost all my vices in one fell swoop — making me one of the least pleasant people you’d want to be around.

Which brings us back to the need for government intervention.

You see, just as I am making some headway in my battle of the bulge, I am about to face my greatest obstacle: Girl Scout cookies.

There is no greater challenge to a dieter than Thin Mints, Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties and, my hands-down favorite, shortbread Trefoils.

I’d give my right arm for the Trefoils recipe — if I didn’t need my right arm to dunk the cookies in ice-cold milk.

So, my fellow Americans, I must raise some unpleasant questions:

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 struggling to avoid sugar consumption?

How can we allow any organization, regardless of its cause, to exploit children to sell delicious, addictive, high-calorie products that are more damaging to America’s well-being than communism?

Sure, I know 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, and that it helps fund Girl Scout operations.

I know that some 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 and eat the cookies in moderation.

Well, nuts to that.

Hey, progressives in cities, such as Seattle, are imposing massive “sin taxes” on products that have sugar — causing a 36-pack of Dr. Pepper at Costco to soar to nearly $18 from $9.99.

Some people are suggesting sin taxes on lots of other tasty items, including beef (cows are bad for the environment, so, the thinking goes, sin taxes on beef will reduce its consumption).

So why not Girl Scout cookies?

Though I generally hold more libertarian sensibilities on such matters, I and millions of others are powerless during Girl Scout cookie season every year.

If the Girl Scouts won’t willingly stop foisting their incredibly delicious cookies on us, I’m all for federal intervention.

That way, everyone else will be as miserable as I am as I suffer through my January diet.

Tom Purcell, author of Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood and Wicked Is the Whiskey: A Sean McClanahan Mystery, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist, syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @PurcellTom. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.