Monday, October 12, 2009

Next Time, Buy The Cookies.

I never was a Girl Scout. I could claim it was because even back then I thought these youth scouting groups were neo-fascist militaristic brain-washing factories designed to turn out fodder for the war machine. But that's not why I never became a girl scout. The truth is I never qualified because I got kicked out of the Brownies. The adult woman who was our "leader" thought I was a bad influence on the other girls.

One of our big Brownie "functions" was to learn to prepare a dinner, to which our parents were invited. We served pigs in the blanket (hot dog rolled in a packaged crescent roll then baked) and red jello with a can of fruit cocktail in it, with syrup, and fresh whipped cream on top. We were trying to earn our nutrition badge. When it came to making the whipped cream, our adult lady leader wouldn't let us put any sugar in it, because she was on a diet. So the entire group had to have sugarless whipped cream because this woman had the eating habits of a suicidal imbecile. She said we should put bowls of sugar out on the table, so everyone could sprinkle sugar on top of the whipped cream. We had crunchy whipped cream. Which I loudly protested at the dinner.

We walked to the Brownie meetings after school, and went right past a little store that sold the best gumballs probably in the whole state. The big gumballs: grape, sour apple (yellow and red mottled), orange, cherry. These were huge gumballs, with a thick coating of hard candy on the outside, like none I've ever seen since. When you put the big gumball in your mouth and tried to bite down, it was so sour and the flavor so intense, but the candy shell so thick and hard to bite through, that colored drool would run down one side of your chin, which you'd have to try to lick up real fast with your tongue, get the rest with your hand. If I could find those same gumballs today, I'd buy a million of them.

The only benefit to going to the Brownie meetings was that we would all collect a few pennies from the sofa cushions, and buy gumballs on the way.

Then the "leader" decided that we were enjoying ourselves too much, so she banned gum.

I asked why.

She said "because I said so."

I said that I disagreed, that there was no reason we couldn't chew gum. We weren't babies, we were 10 years old. We weren't boys, we didn't stick the gum on the chairs, we just chewed it.

She kicked me out, and I never became a girlscout. I never again ate a "pig-in-the-blanket" or red jello with fruit cocktail, and I always put the sugar right in with the cream before I beat it. And I defiantly eat gumballs whenever and wherever the spirit moves me.


  1. Jeez, love the pic!

  2. Of the smiling little girl and the burning house? Or of the gumballs? I still love gumballs. You'd think I would've gotten over it. But there's something about biting down into that hard candy, breaking the seal, getting that burst of flavor. I could eat every gumball in that picture.

  3. 10 is a little old for a Brownie. (Brownies are 7-9 yrs old). Maybe you and your friends were Juniors(green vest).
    Nevertheless, funny story.