The reason we didn’t want Avery to join Sparks back in kindergarten, or Brownies in grade two, came down to cookies. Essentially, we didn’t want to spend Saturdays sitting outside of Walmart trying to sell chocolate mint cookies or the lesser chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies to people who had probably just bought a bunch of junk food in the store. (Note: America has waaay better Girl Scout cookies than Canada. I craved Samoas and Trefoils as a child.)
We finally caved and let her join up as a Brownie last year. She graduated to Girl Guide at the start of grade four (I still call it Brownies though. I just can’t get my head around “Girl Guides” — who is she guiding, exactly?). Instead of hawking $5 boxes of cookies at the mall, she sells them door-to-door. And by she I mean we. I hold the case of cookies and she negotiates the transaction.
Avery: “I’m selling Girl Guide cookies. Five dollars a box. I only have four boxes left.”
Customer: “What kind are they?”
Avery: “The sandwich kind.”
Customer: “Oh, too bad. I like the mint ones.”
We get that every third house. Everyone likes the mint ones. I have yet to meet anyone who would rather trough on the sandwich kind. Dear Girl Guides: it’s time to retire the sandwich cookies. (Why not just sell the mint ones all year? Or better yet, imagine how well those Girl Scout shortbread Trefoils and caramel-chocolate-coconut Samoas would sell here. It’s criminal we don’t have more options. Truly.)
Because spring is the season for the sandwich cookies — and because I’d already seen Facebook posts from parents of cookie selling competitors, trying to unload their boxes to other parents at school pick-up — I knew Avery and I needed a strategy to get rid of our case.
The plan: Pick a nice hockey playoff evening when the Flames were playing and go door-to-door before the puck dropped in the hope that anyone not at a bar would be in the market for munchies while they watched the game on TV.
Day 1 (Game 2/Away): We sold a case in five minutes! Our neighbour and his friend purchased eight (8!) boxes, and another neighbour snapped up the remaining four. Wow, cookie selling is EASY! Imagine if we had more cases, we could’ve sold them all! So, I emailed the Girl Guide leader and asked for another case.
Day 2 (Game 4/Home): Where is everyone? They either think we’re door knocking for the Alberta election, they’re at a bar, or they’re at the game. One woman (who I know is home because I saw her go in the front door when we were half a block away) just ignores the doorbell. Another man answers, takes one look at the Girl Guide box, and tells us no thanks, he still has half a box of the mint cookies left over from December. WTF? Those are the good ones! Evidently, his two kids aren’t allowed to eat cookies.
We make our way down the street, practically begging people to take them off our hands.
Lady: “I’ll go see if I can scrounge up some change.” She returns with eight quarters and three loonies. “I raided the loose change drawer because we’re almost through the two boxes we bought from another girl earlier this week.”
At least someone likes the sandwich kind.
Avery: “Oh, really?” (Wondering who beat her to this street.)
Lady: “She had a big wagon of cookies.”
Ah, the cookie wagon. It takes dedication to haul cases of sandwich cookies around in a wagon. And possibly all day to sell them.
Finally, a reprieve. With only two boxes left to sell Avery rings one more doorbell. The man who answers takes one look at Avery, all dressed up in her shirt and kerchief, holding a case of cookies, and his hand dives into his pocket for money. When it surfaces empty-handed he checks his wallet, despairing that there’s no cash. But then he remembers his wallet’s secret cash stash, pulls out a ten dollar bill, and buys the two remaining boxes.
Selling the lesser sandwich cookies? Not as hard as I’d imagined.