The country is divided, in massive debt, and our future isn’t looking so good – but thankfully, I have more immediate worries to consume my energies.

Girl Scout cookies are back.

I’m on a diet, you see – the same diet I’m on every year at this time as I struggle to lose the weight I put on during the holiday season.

This year offers a far greater weight-loss challenge, however, because most of 2020 offered millions of us the perfect conditions to pack on the pounds.

They don’t call it “COVID-19” for nothing.

And just as I was looking forward to a shortage of Girl Scout cookie stands, which usually set up shop at every single store I normally go to, I just learned that Girl Scout cookies are now easier to purchase than ever before.

Newsweek reports that the Girls Scouts are partnering with Grubhub to make online ordering and home delivery of cookies as fast and easy as downing an entire sleeve of Shortbread/Trefoils dipped in ice-cold milk.

To be sure, the Girl Scouts’ “virtual cookie booth” is going to make NOT buying Girl Scout cookies harder than ever before.

That doesn’t bode well for me.

In pre-coronavirus years, as I struggled to maintain my diet, I tried to avoid any store where a Girl Scout cookie stand was active (and succeeded every once in a while).

If Girl Scouts knocked on my door, I’d attempt to hide in the basement or lock myself in the garage.

During one close call – I was out for a walk when I saw a couple of Girl Scouts heading down the street in my direction – I dove into a snow drift behind my neighbor’s forsythia shrubs. Thank God, they never saw me.

I face a huge challenge at this time every year, you see.

If not ever-vigilant, I’ve been known to eat Thin Mints as though they were Tic Tacs.

I’ve gobbled down Peanut Butter Patties the way grizzlies gorge on wild salmon.

I once ordered so many Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwiches that the Girl Scout bakery had to call me to tell me they Don’t-si-don’t have any more!

But this year I’m grateful for this difficult challenge.

From Feb. 1 until Girl Scout cookie sales end on March 1, my energies will be consumed with trying NOT to buy and eat the daggone things.

For a little while, I’ll stop worrying about the vitriol in our public discourse and the ever-hardening group-think forming on way too many sides of the political spectrum.

I’ll momentarily quit fretting about the lack of curiosity among too many at our major media outlets about holding every politician and government representative accountable.

I’ll even try to stop wondering where the COVID-19 vaccine is that hopefully will keep my 80-something parents safe until this pandemic finally passes.

And so it is that I’m actually looking forward to my annual Girl Scout cookie challenge this year to take my mind off my many woes.

Though I expect to do better than I did four years ago.

In 2017, one Girl Scout made the national news for selling 100,000 boxes of cookies.

I was her only customer!

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Tom Purcell is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Send comments to Tom at Tom@TomPurcell.com.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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