Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Neighbor, the Cookie, and the Flaming Bag of Poo

A few days ago, Prima and I bundled up and braved the enormous piles of snow in order to carry on a well-loved tradition:  the selling of Girl Scout cookies.  Unlike most Girl Scouts today, Prima actually walks around from door to door to peddle her overpriced and overprocessed (but overyummy) wares.  Her goal was to surpass last year's sales, which were rather dismal because every stupid person on our street wasn't home on the one afternoon she attempted to sell cookies.

So, we first tackled our own side of the street with great success.  I noticed that people were very willing to buy cookies and didn't need much in the way of encouragement.  At each house, we found people home and hungry for cookies, so happy to fill out that little order form.  By the time we made our way to the house directly across from our own, Prima had already beaten last year's sales.  As we worked our way through the snow to the door of our next victim, I smugly thought of how happy this particular neighbor would be to buy a box or two of cookies.  Even though I don't know her name and haven't spoken more than a handful of words to her over the past several years, I knew without a doubt that she would have to buy some cookies out of sheer obligation.  Why?  When she wasn't home on her birthday, I accepted flowers on her behalf and hand delivered them when she got home from work.  When the snow plow knocked her mailbox off its post during each storm we've had this winter, we* fixed it for her.  We* dug a path to her mailbox so her mail could be delivered.  When my husband and Secondo saw her struggling to shovel her driveway, they went over to help her even though they were worn out from shoveling our own driveway.

That woman owed us.  Like, a lot.

Such were my thoughts as Prima knocked.  We waited.  The door opened, and the woman snapped, "I'm sorry, we're not interested" in a tone that really meant "Get the hell away from my door and how dare you bother me!"  Prima didn't even get a chance to say hello, let alone extol on the wonders of the Thin Mint or the Thank You Berry Munch!

Outwardly, I was Good Mom.  I made excuses for the woman's behavior, shrugged it off, laughed about it, and simply walked with Prima to the next house.  Inwardly, I was Evil Mom.  I mean, what kind of person is rude to a Girl Scout?

Let's analyze this for a minute.  You're having a quiet afternoon at home when you hear a knock on the door.  You aren't expecting company.  If you're like me (and you might want to start praying that you aren't), your first thought is something like, "Oh crap, how do I get rid of the religious fundamentalists without being an asshole?"  Then, you look through the door and see this:
(R.F. = religious fundamentalist)

Clearly, a Girl Scout selling cookies.

Now, let's take a look at what was going on with the neighbor.  She was not on fire.

I'm sure we would have noticed something like that.  She also did not appear to be suffering from an axe murderer attack.

Again, pretty obvious.  Being on fire or having multiple axe wounds excuses one from following conventional forms of manners, don't you think?

Just to cover all the bases, she was also not being eaten by a large carnivorous reptile.

In other words, she had no discernible reason not to devote an extra ten seconds of her time to communicating her thoughts in a way that wouldn't have been completely rude.

The more I think about that rude woman, the more annoyed I get.  I'm not completely delusional and don't expect every person in the world to order Girl Scout cookies from my kid.  But is it too much to expect an adult to be polite to a kid, especially when it seems like so many adults are moaning and groaning about the lack of manners in children today?

Now I spend way too much time gleefully thinking of ways to sabotage this lady's life.  I daydream about her coming over to borrow a cup of sugar so I can say no and quickly shut the door in her face. Maybe I'll pelt her with Girl Scout cookies as she runs, weeping, across the street.

Maybe I'll call every single religious establishment in town, pretend to be her, and ask to be put on their mailing list.  Might as well include religious establishments in the surrounding towns as well.  To be thorough, I guess I should put her on the mailing lists for some of those adult "toy" stores too.  I'm a firm believer in that whole thing about variety being the spice of life.

There's always that classic standby...

We don't have a dog, though, so I'd have to get one of the boys to...OK, never mind.  When I start to disturb myself, that means it's time to stop.

One thing I can tell you is, she's fixing her own damn mailbox from now on and if the florist drops her flowers off at our house, I'm giving them to Prima.

*"we" refers to my husband in this context and in most other contexts involving actual physical labor


  1. All hail Thin Mints!!!

    Thumbs down on the pooh though...

  2. I did my part and ordered 5 boxes (ahem, I mean 4, because I had to hide one just to make sure I got some cookies). Don't worry. I truly believe in karma...glad you set such a good example in front of your daughter though!

  3. Thinking poo thoughts are perfectly fine, not acting on them when you have kids, well, that's better, I suppose...until they are in college and you have no further lessons to teach them and can divulge to them that we ALL have those secret thoughts from time to tme and you can enlist their help on an old grudge on a certain neighbor by getting them to offer to pickup the neighbors' dog poo for the summer as their good deed to offset the bad karma to be reaped just before they go back to school...

  4. As someone who HATES peddlers at my door, when a kid shows up, I buy whatever the child is selling. Hence the ever growing back side.

    And there have been a few times when I've actually prayed for a nice young baseball player to miraculously show up with a box of those candy bars....

    From the teacher in me, thank you for teaching your daughter manners. Sorry your neighbor was an ick-bomb.

  5. Who turns down girl scout cookies? I wish a girl scout would come right to my door to sell me cookies.

    I'd "accidentally" knock the mailbox off again. And call the Scientologists, I heard they are pretty relentless.

  6. Perhaps religious fundamentalists will now realize that simply putting on a vest with merit badges will make them less likely to be turned away.

    It will be a sad day, indeed, when I open my door for someone wearing a Girl Scout Vest, and get handed a Watchtower pamphlet rather than a box of Samoas. Or five.

  7. Damn straight! Flaming poo and Thin Mint missiles. And maybe the plow doesn't knock her mailbox off next time. What? You don't have a baseball bat and some dark sweats?

    On second thought, maybe you throw the Shout Outs, no one is ordering those anyway and you wouldn't want to commit Thin Mints to pointless sacrifice.

  8. I think you should put an invite to your blog in her mailbox. That would be fitting