Mychal Wilmes: Caught in the cookie jar
The Thin Mints called my name so loudly that Kathy heard it from the bedroom.
"You'd better not be getting into the Girl Scout cookies.''
When your hand is caught in the cookie jar, it's best to blame bad influences. The cookies — be they Do-si-Dos, Samoas or Trefoils — are addicting, and just one more cookie inevitably leads to an empty box. It's impossible to blame the 9-year-old Scout for leading me into treat temptation. The cookies are low-fat and in a round-about way are good for physical and mental health. The second may be more true than the first, but one needs comfort during a wind-blown winter when snow drifts become skyscraper tall and concrete in consistency.
I offered Kathy a half-dozen Samoas because she had broken through a snow bank, took a spill and wondered why we don't live somewhere warm. The cookies seemed to heal her bruises and gave me permission to indulge.
Girl Scout cookies have been around since the early 1920s when a small troop in Oklahoma got attention for selling homemade cookies in the official Girl Scout magazine. The organization started licensing official cookie makers in 1936, and sales soared until World War II. A shortage of flour and lard caused the Girl Scouts to switch fund-raising efforts to calendar sales until the war ended.
When trans-fats became an issue in the 1970s, cookie recipes were changed. When ingredients and transportation became more expensive, cookie size was reduced.
Girl Scout cookies haven't been controversy free.
Honey Boo Boo, the pre-teen star of a cable TV show that includes her loud and some say obnoxious family, caused an uproar when she urged her 700,000 Facebook friends to buy cookies. The problems materialized because Honey Boo Boo wasn't a member of her local Girl Scouts and it is against the rules to sell cookies on-line.
Kathy is convinced that I've put entirely too much thought into Girl Scout cookies, and she is probably right.
Kathy is a good cookie-maker herself, but she is only motivated during the holidays. I, like many a husband who thinks there was no better cook than his own mother, offered helpful suggestions. Cookies can't be good unless dairy butter and lard are key ingredients. Those ingredients contribute greatly to good pie crusts. My helpful hints proved so accepted that Kathy suggested that I bake them myself.
A husband is often slow to shed bachelor ways.
I considered it a time-saver and environmentally friendly to wash clothes regardless of color in one load. It worked flawlessly in bachelorhood, but women's clothing — especially new and bright-colored — bleeds more easily. White blouses that become pink are apparently unwearable.
I admitted to a friend that doing clothes can be enjoyable and relaxing. He thought me off my rocker.He hates washing clothes so much that when his new bride asked him to help he feigned complete incompetence.
"She's a perfectionist, so she never asked me to do it again.''
He was dumbfounded when it was revealed that I wash dishes after most every meal.
I don't really enjoy that, but it is necessary following a deal made. Kathy wanted an automatic dishwasher shortly after our marriage. Her penny-pinching husband thought a dishwasher a wasteful luxury.
The last Girl Scout cookie has been consumed.
The cookie-selling season will end sometime next month. The snowbanks may be gone by then and the first greenery will poke its head from the soil. The first blister earned from turning the garden over will feel mighty good.
Mychal Wilmes is managing editor of Agri News, a weekly agriculture newspaper published by the Post-Bulletin Co. His column appears every Monday in the print edition.