Just when I thought it was safe to head to the kitchen again, I turned on the television set — to one of those feel good morning “news” shows — and learned that this week marks the beginning of Girl Scout cookie season. I think there is a vast multi-winged conspiracy to keep me from ever having a belly that doesn’t hang over my belt.

Let’s face it. We are all apt to spend our autumns eating everything we can get our mouths around. Even if you can somehow survive the work week without overindulging, there are football games all day on Saturday and Sunday and eating just goes with watching football, whether it is tailgating on campus or sitting in front of the television.

Then at the end of October, Halloween appears with all those miniature candy bars and candy corn. I am compelled to stock up because I wouldn’t want to disappoint any potential trick-or-treaters, bless their little hearts. Naturally, I buy ahead, and with all that candy around the house and my willpower being at low ebb, I might sample a Snickers here or a Milky Way there and, yes, I might run out a time or three and have to restock. And of course, I have to make Rice Krispies treats regularly, in case my grandson, Sir Henley the Adorable, were to stop by for a visit.

And since we live so far off the road and haven’t had a trick-or-treater in 40 years, I have to dispose of all the candy I buy, and I wouldn’t want it to go to waste. So, I eat it.

Halloween gives way to the Thanksgiving — Christmas — New Year’s — Bowl Season gauntlet, and I don’t have to tell you how difficult that is to walk, what with parties and trips and family gatherings. Every year I blow up like a balloon during December. Every year my lovely wife, Lisa, buys me clothes for Christmas in the sizes she wishes I wore. Every year I resolve to go on a strict diet just as soon as the college football champion is crowned.

This year I even told myself I would start my diet early and limit myself to a couple of bowls of gumbo and maybe a fried shrimp po-boy and a few beignets while watching the LSU-Clemson game Monday night.

But, no. Juliet Gordon Lowe’s legacy has done me in, and the Girl Scouts are starting their cookie drive this week.

Didn’t they used to do that in March, at least giving us all a fighting chance?

How can you say no to a Girl Scout when they stand there in their cute little green uniforms with those pleading eyes? And the cookies are just so good. I am partial to Samoas. Did you know that in some areas they are called Caramel deLites? Coconut, chocolate, caramel. Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. But they taste so good!

I also enjoy a thin mint or six with a glass of milk at night, just before bedtime. And there is a lot to be said for the Trefoils as well.

Plus, I am all about tradition, and the Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since 1917. We’ve lost so many of our customs. I feel it my patriotic duty to help keep this one alive.

Besides, this year they have a brand-new cookie for all of us to try. The caramel chocolate chip. According to the Girl Scout website, “the chewy treats are made with caramel and semisweet chocolate chips and boast a hint of sea salt in every bite.” I owe it to myself and fellow Eagle Scouts everywhere to support our sisters in uniform. Besides, this cookie seems to be a healthier alternative because, still quoting from the website, “instead of traditional wheat flour, the cookies use oat flour as the base. The new recipe is also gluten-free.”

They only pack about 170 calories for a three-cookie serving. That’s a lot better than the 70 calories per cookie the Samoas have.

So, there you are. I can just eat my way to better health— and be able to fit into my new Christmas clothes in no time.

Wait. I forgot that they now have a Smores cookie. (180 calories — 90 calories per cookie, 9 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat.). Eating them is just like sitting beside a campfire without the smoke.

Oh, well. Moderation is overrated anyway. Happy Cookie Season, y’all.

Darrell Huckaby is an author in Rockdale County. Email him at dhuck008@gmail.com.

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