And it’s all about the cookies.
We got jumped in last fall, with the promise of patches, fellowship and smart uniforms, introduced to this way of life through a nut sale. It operated like a numbers racket, the lowest level of organized crime. Really, it was junior-league peddling, and it portended something bigger. Nuts were the gateway drug.
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We had to threaten a few people with knee-cappings, show a few of them the baseball bat shoved behind the back seat, in order to collect on that nut money, but I made it out without losing any digits to the guys — or should I say, the gals — upstairs, that is, the bosses operating out of the multimillion-dollar high-rise compound in NYC, their Sicilian castle and the staging ground of the Cookie Cosa Nostra.
Girl Scouts has been a vaunted institution of female empowerment for a century this coming March. They’re the queen makers of American society, instilling core values of self-confidence, poise and grace, and commitment.
I’m not buying it.
It’s a front for a vast network of street-level sugar pushers, fattening the pockets of the Five Families of organized cookie crime, a syndicate that can only be brought under control by federal RICO laws, the American Dental Association and some health nut like, oh I don’t know, Richard Simmons.
On Saturday, we graduate to the hard stuff. We pick up our first 103 boxes of cookies, for the big push to own the corn syrup trade. That’s 103 boxes of Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Trefoils stacked up in the corner of the room, staring at me like bricks of cocaine, waiting to be cut, packaged and keistered for mass distribution, forced on a public that will take them; they have no choice.
That’s the how and why of drugs; just a taste and nothing is ever the same. You’re always chasing the dragon. Old ladies will sell their last beta blocker for that sugar high. I’ve seen a grown man grovel like a child for a stale Samoa.
This all feels like a real-life “Breaking Bad” episode, with me cast as Walter White to my daughter Riley Beth’s Jesse Pinkman. She’s the centerpoint of the crime, but like Walter, I’m slowly becoming the mastermind in this Do-Si-Do-disguised world of drugs, money and power.
Now that I’m in, I’m in. Deep.
Walter White tried through three seasons to hang on to his humanity and humility, to try to convince himself that he was cooking the finest iced meth in the country for a noble reason. By season 4, he had conceded to his innermost self that he was badly broken, power mad and high on the rush of being the biggest and brightest star in the solar system of scumbags pushing poorly made product as dirty as his was pure.
That’s right. Just call me Heisenberg, ’cause I’ve got your Girl Scout cookies, the finest example of confectionary crack on the planet, the baking world’s “Blue Sky”; 99.1 percent chemically pure, guaranteed to get you off as soon as that minty goodness or that sinfully sweet shortbread passes over your lips and onto your tongue on the way to nirvana.
Remember, there’s a new crew in town. Riley Beth is the face, taking the game to the street corners and school yards, but recognize: it’s me running the show. Buy now, or buy later; it’s your choice. I’ve already got you. I own you. I’ve got what you need and I’ll haunt your dreams.
See what I mean? The Girl Scouts changes a man.