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Tom Purcell

Tom Purcell: Help me, Washington e_SEmD you're my only hope against Girl Scout cookies

| Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, 9:00 p.m.
Girl Scouts

I'm on a diet — a miserable diet – just as millions of Americans are during January every year. And to be successful, I want the federal government to intervene.

We're fighting an obesity battle in America, after all.

Our capitalistic system has accomplished economic miracles across every area of our lives. However, regrettably, capitalistic efficiency has also produced an abundance of low-fiber, high-calorie, refined-sugar foods — which our bodies convert into instant chubbiness.

That's why, reports Fortune, more than 70 percent of Americans are either obese or overweight — and why childhood obesity is growing at a frightening rate.

And so we go on diets every January, which makes most of us miserable.

I'm on a low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie diet — a trifecta of misery. I am getting by on only 1,300 or 1,400 calories a day.

I experience tremendous anguish when I see someone enjoying sweets or a frothy beer or pretty much anything else that tastes good and makes me happy.

I am giving up almost all my vices in one fell swoop — making me one of the least pleasant people you'd want to be around.

Which brings us back to the need for government intervention.

You see, just as I am making some headway in my battle of the bulge, I am about to face my greatest obstacle: Girl Scout cookies.

There is no greater challenge to a dieter than Thin Mints, Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties and, my hands-down favorite, shortbread Trefoils.

I'd give my right arm for the Trefoils recipe — if I didn't need my right arm to dunk the cookies in ice-cold milk.

So, my fellow Americans, I must raise some unpleasant questions:

How can we allow anyone, in these progressive times, to inflict empty calories on an already obese public?

How can we be so inconsiderate to diabetics and others who are struggling to avoid sugar consumption?

How can we allow any organization, regardless of its cause, to exploit children to sell delicious, addictive, high-calorie products that are more damaging to America's well-being than communism?

Sure, I know that the Girl Scouts organization was founded in 1912 to help girls develop physically, mentally and spiritually. I know the annual cookie sale has become a tasty part of American culture since it originated in 1917, and that it helps fund Girl Scout operations.

I know that some will criticize me for demanding an end to the cookie sale. They'll say that it really does teach girls useful business skills. They'll say that it's as much a part of American culture as baseball and apple pie — that we should celebrate it and enjoy it and eat the cookies in moderation.

Well, nuts to that.

Hey, progressives in cities, such as Seattle, are imposing massive “sin taxes” on products that have sugar — causing a 36-pack of Dr. Pepper at Costco to soar from $9.99 to nearly 18 bucks.

Some people are suggesting sin taxes on lots of other tasty items, including beef (cows are bad for the environment, so, the thinking goes, sin taxes on beef will reduce its consumption).

So why not Girl Scout cookies?

Though I generally hold more libertarian sensibilities on such matters, I and millions of others are powerless during Girl Scout cookie season every year.

If the Girl Scouts won't willingly stop foisting their incredibly delicious cookies on us, I'm all for federal intervention.

That way, everyone else will be as miserable as I am as I suffer through my January diet every year.

Tom Purcell, a freelance writer, lives in Library. His books include “Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood” and “Wicked Is the Whiskey,” a Sean McClanahan mystery. Visit him on the web at Email him at:

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