They look innocent enough. They are small in stature and have high-pitched voices. Some even have dimples and freckles for added effect. However, there’s something crooked cooking underneath this puerile exterior of girlhood.
Like sirens of the sea, these brace-faced hustlers lure you in with a lull and then sink your wallet with a surefire smile.
My last encounter with these cookie crooks took place on Sunday, the holiest of days, yet the devil’s imps are lurking around every snicker-doodled corner within the minds of 9 year-old girls.
I had just finished buying groceries for the poor families in the neighborhood and about to help a blind man and his three-legged dog cross the street when I heard the heckling shrieks of three gorgons.
“Would you like to buy some cookies?”
I write this as a question as grammar and “would you” demands but it was sounded as a statement. Actually, it was more of a sly demand based on the surrounding context. As if I had a choice when I’m holding my wallet and copious supply of groceries. I mean I had the means to service their demand.
Moreover, like sexually-charged bouncers, the girls’ overly attractive mothers were staring me straight in the eye, penetrating my superficial sensibilities. I could deny their precious younger selves the satisfaction of giving up the cookies and walk away a shamed man with flaccidly empty hand flapping in the afternoon breeze, but we all knew better.
“Of course, I will,” I said aloud and continued to add “you fucking soulless thieving little rodents of suburban strip malls” as internal monologue.
I approached the table of goodies and abandoned all hope as the three prepubescent incarnations of Shylock were soon to take their pound of flesh from my dignity. I endeavored composure as their stares turned my confidence to stone.
As if bankrupting me of my pride and free will was not enough, Satan’s brides presented me with a table full of opportunity to be robbed. There were peanut butter patties, caramel de-lites, and mints thin like my chances of walking away with my sense of self worth.
I began to perspire under the blazing moments of silence. One of the beauty queens doubling as a chaperoning mother blessed my ear with a regal tone.
“Oh, the chocolate popcorn is delicious.”
That is what was said though it sounded like, “Ohhhh, fuck a lot porn between us,” which does not make semantic or syntactic sense but was the only relished gem from this hellish intercourse.
“Yes, that does sound delicious,” was my infinitely clever reply.
Before I could feel the lack of wit kicking my mind in its ass, one of the serpent curled monsters grabbed the bag of popcorn along with her hit list of sales and proudly summonsed her ransom price.
“Forty dollars, please.”
The sound that escaped through the metal in her mouth imprisoned my thoughts.
“Surely…” I thought, “the grade school witch jests…”
Like a high school girlfriend who has just told you that someone else, the someone she has been dating for the last three weeks before getting you up to speed, was taking her to prom, the gang of X-chromosoned evil stood its ground, emasculating me into giving up my heart along with two shriveled, eunuch-faced Andrew Jacksons.