A pack of elves in pastry-chef hats have moved into my living room.
It's not the Keebler family I have to blame. It's my wife, who decided to take on the duty of "Girl Scout cookie mom" for my daughter's troop.
I can only surmise that an 18-wheeler pulled up the other day and dropped 10,000 cases of Do-Si-Dos and other assorted favorites into my house. My neighbor told me in confidence that he saw a team of what looked like 50 Oompa-Loompas with hand carts drop off enough chocolate to make Hershey's jealous.
"These will be out of here in a few days," Rosanna said to me from behind a wall of Thin Mints, reading my mind as any good wife can.
"We have a few extra cases, because I'm holding the cookies that we're going to sell the next two weekends at the supermarket parking lot."
I'm pretty sure that I heard the sounds of a Hi-Lo moving crates of chocolate chips behind the television set.
I grimaced as I thought back to last year's parking-lot cookie sale. That's where the leaders set up card tables loaded with cookies and send the girls off to sharpen their sales skills with the public, while dodging traffic and shopping carts.
Willie Loman they aren't, but typically, after 200 "please-please-pleases!" they are able to shake down a few shoppers.
"How much for a box of Tagalongs?" I asked.
"They're $3.50 a box, but the first one's on me," Rosanna said, sounding like a schoolyard pusher who gives out the first taste on the house.
I sensed danger as I put the first cookie in my mouth. I could feel the beautiful blend of peanut butter and chocolate ignite my senses. What was this going to cost me?
"I should probably move out for a couple of days," I said.
She raised an eyebrow.
"At $3.50 a box, I'm afraid I'm going to end up owing the Girl Scouts a couple of thousand dollars by the end of the weekend." I imagined a gang of Scouts showing up at my door to collect on my binge.
"Don't be silly," Rosanna said. "How many boxes of cookies can you eat?"
"Well this box of Tagalongs is almost done."
"Already?" she shrieked.
Later that evening I thought back to the year my daughter won the award for selling the most boxes of cookies. She sold about 12 boxes, and I moved approximately 400 at the office for her. My peers honored me with an award, "World's Ugliest Girl Scout."
I truly believe that behind every great Girl Scout cookie seller stands a parent who is one Thin Mint away from joining Weight Watchers. EXPRESS YOURSELF. Expressway is a weekly feature that publishes readers' original, nonfiction opinion essays about daily life on Long Island, or about the news of the day and how it affects their lives. All readers are invited to submit essays, and we especially welcome submissions from high school and college students. Send submissions of 300 to 600 words to email@example.com, with "Expressway" in the subject line. Or mail submissions to Expressway / Opinion Dept., Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747. Please include your name and phone number.