by Tom Finkel
If Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa of Food Network fame, baked up a batch of shortbread cookies for a Girl Scout troop in her neck of the Hamptons, here is what the ingredient list might look like:
If, on the other hand, you bought shortbread cookies from one of Gut Check's friendly neighborhood Girl Scouts, here's what the ingredient list would look exactly like:
Now, while you're munching on your tasty little Trefoil, gather 'round and Gut Check will tell you a story:
Once upon a time there was a cranky old blogger named Gut Check. Though Gut Check was an ill-tempered and, it must be said, dyspeptic sort, we loved to eat us some good, tasty food and we also loved our little daughter, Annabertha.
Now, Annabertha was a beautiful little girl, with a bright smile, a singsong voice and bountiful ringlets of curly brown hair that went boing! Also, Annabertha was a Girl Scout.
Like most of her pint-size pals, Annabertha devoted very little time or attention to the various functions and activities offered by her Girl Scout troop. To be sure, every once in a while she would allow herself to be cajoled out of bed of a Saturday morning to rake a leaf or two in a community garden, or if a day was particularly rainy, crack open her Girl Scout manual and decide not to embark on any course of action that might earn her a merit badge.
But like clockwork each February, the diminutive Girl Scout spirit that lay dormant within Annabertha for approximately eleven months each year would suddenly spring to life at the sound of three magic words:
Those words were: Girl. Scout. Cookies.
Invariably, those words were accompanied by an order form and a ballpoint pen and a beseeching plea that Gut Check put on our long johns, insulated boots and balaclava and set out across the frozen tundra of Webster Groves.
It typically transpired that this sales foray was undertaken on the same Sunday that a certain sporting event watched by every man, woman and child in the TV-possessing world was also scheduled to be contested. So there was Gut Check, right around kickoff time, standing a respectful distance down some neighbor's (inevitably unshoveled, this being St. Louis) front walk while Annabertha ascended the stoop, rang the doorbell and held out her order form and ballpoint in a mittened hand.
And so on. And so on, until little Annabertha's chubby fingers were too cold to unclench the pen, whereupon she and Gut Check would scurry along home.
The process, of course, would be repeated several weeks later, after the order forms had been handed in and the cookies ordered and hauled by the caseful to the drop-off site (which is to say, some overachieving Girl Scout parent's living room). Gut Check and Annabertha would bundle up to a slightly lesser extent, load our red Radio Flyer wagon with cookie boxes and tromp along the no-longer-snow-covered sidewalks of the neighborhood, Gut Check pulling the wagon and Annabertha plodding alongside. Gut Check would stop at the home of each Girl Scout Cookie customer, unburden the Radio Flyer of the correct number of boxes of Thin Mints, Tagalongs and the like and help Annabertha tote them up the front walk and the stoop and stand politely aside while Annabertha carefully completed the transaction.
And when all the deliveries had been made, Annabertha would ask Gut Check to pull her home in the wagon, and Gut Check would.
End of story.
By the way, that's not Ina Garten in the photo at the top of this post. It's Ina Garten's body with the head of Mindy Cohn, better known as "Natalie" on The Facts of Life, clumsily PhotoShopped on.
This is Ina Garten:
While we're at it, show of hands: Anyone besides Gut Check know what a Trefoil is?
If you haven't already, see:
Note: If you'd like to suggest which Girl Scout Cookie Gut Check vomits up next, by all means use the comments thread. We're here to hurl.