Everything I ever needed to know about hustling, pimping and dealing I learned from the Girl Scouts.
Now I was a Girl Scout for all of one year, mainly because I hate organized groups and I quit 90% of the things that I start. Also, I’m not a huge fan of peeing outside and the Girl Scouts just love to camp.
But before my time with the Scouts ended I learned some very important lessons for life, mainly if that life includes running a major crime syndicate.
Allow me to impart the wisdom from my year in the game:
1) Supply / Demand
Where there is a demand there will always be somebody willing to supply that need. It’s why cookie selling is the world’s oldest profession. Those pig-tailed peddlers have mastered the game and cornered the cookie market. Once a year they open up for business and we the people go crazy, throwing money at them and begging them for a taste.
2) Quality merchandise
The Girl Scouts have mastered this in a way that major corporations have been trying to emulate ever since. Once a year the cookie gates open and the frenzy begins. If the Girl Scouts sold stock they would all be able to retire at the age of 7. The Boy Scouts tried to copy the success with that crazy expensive, totally inedible popcorn that everybody hates (but I mean, the popcorn is getting embarrassing boys; it’s getting harder to walk into Wal-Mart and avoid your sad little gazes as I try to pretend I am talking on the phone as I run by. If we all give $10 will you stop standing out there trying to shame me into buying that filth?).
The Girl Scouts know they have a quality product, which is why they can sell boxes without even trying, earning their little patches and slowly moving up in the ranks of the
We know the product is quality, now you just need the right hook. Bring out the girls. “Work those big, scary eyes Combs. Straighten your pigtails and smile dammit! Draw in the customers. Work it girl, you don’t sell you don’t eat.”
4) Exclusive Territory
Each little girl has a neighborhood, or territory. Like a Columbian drug ring, the boundary lines are very clear and absolute. The other girls know not to sell in your area, because a move like that will get a girl cut. You don’t deal in another girl’s domain.
5) Never let them see you sweat
Cookie peddling is a hard game. Walking those streets, protecting your territory from encroaching troops while you make that money. But you can’t let the people see you sweat. If the girls in nearby neighborhoods feel that you are weak they will move in on your turf. If the customers see you nervously glancing around or shaking in your sales pitch they get jumpy and the deal goes south. It’s hard out there, but you have to keep your cool
6) Curb appeal
Send out the adorable little faces to LITERALLY WALK THE STREET pedaling their sweets up and down the road, trolling storefronts, advertising on Craigslist. Adorable little faces selling their innocent little Samoas.
As I understand it the same principle applies to pimping, cookie and beets:
7) Keep them hooked
I can only assume that Thin Mints are laced with meth because those little bastards have ruined just as many lives through addiction and tooth decay as meth has.
Regardless, a quality product will bring the people to you, meaning you barely have to work.
8) Organization is key
If cookie-peddling was a cartel then my sister would have been the Kingpin. She was organized. She had the entire neighborhood mapped, separated, organized and loaded in her little red wagon. Other Scouts cowered at the sight of her, knowing that she was not to be crossed. If you were a Girl Scout in the tri-state area of North Carolina in the 90s than you were already a failure because Lauren had you beat before you even started.
9) Only the strong survive
They are starting younger and younger every year, and they are coming for you. You either get busy selling or you get busy dying! There’s only room for a few scouts at the top and every sale they make is a sale you lose. The cookie battle is a tough game and you better come to win, child!
10) Failure will not be tolerated
“I can’t go home until I’ve made at least $200. Come on, don’t you want a box? They’ll make you feel good.”
All this to say I ordered cookies 2 years ago that never came! Get your act together little girls! If you can’t deliver then get out of the game. When I was a scout we understood how to play and we sold those cookies like our lives depended on it. We understood the game. Do better, children, because the life is cut-throat.