In The Weeds: It’s Not Smaller. You’re Just Fatter and a Bigger A-Hole.
I found nothing out of the ordinary a few months back when my trusty editor, Shannon, invited me over for libations in the middle of the day on a Tuesday (gosh darnit, I’ve missed the day drinking this last month). But she clearly had me in her sights and was refilling my highball a little quicker than normal when she asked, “Soooooo……do you want to buy a few boxes of cookies for my daughter’s Daisy troop?”
“D’f**k is a Daisy?”
“Littler Girl Scouts.”
Feeling magnanimous, “Alright, sure. Sign me up for 4 boxes.”
Clearly impressed with my ridiculously large order, “Great. Thanks.”
Fast forward a few weeks, and behold, a cute little Daisy resembling Shannon’s daughter (I can’t be sure because she is always moving quickly and things tend to get a little fuzzy when I am at Shannon’s) knocked on my door with a sash full of patches and a bag of cookies. Even though I usually despise buying stuff from kids – I go to work and get hit up by 12 co-workers and I’m the asshole for saying no thanks? – I was actually very happy I had purchased because she arrived at the exact moment in the afternoon when I get a wicked chocolate craving. “$14 please.” I dug a twenty out of my wallet and asked if she had change. For a brief moment, I sensed a hesitation on her part and wondered… am I supposed to tip her? Did this seven year old just give me the “pause?” Look kid, don’t give me the indiscernible pause. I invented the indiscernible pause. Maybe it was just standard server brain. We think about tipping everybody. Or maybe she was just doing the math in her head. Or maybe she was internally rolling her eyes because every other parent had said “oh don’t worry about the change, honey.”
Bygones. I took my six bucks and my bag of cookies and looked forward to a trip down memory lane with my Peanut Butter Patties and Carmel deLites. I hadn’t eaten Girl Scout cookies since I was a kid. I pulled out the first box and….wah, wah, waaaaaaaah. I said aloud…to myself….in the kitchen, “Dude. What thuh?”
Tiny. Tiny boxes. Tiny cookies. Tiny quantities. I ate all three boxes in about 10 minutes and sat hungry and pondering if I had gotten bigger or if the cookies had indeed gotten smaller. Please tell me, Google, I need to know. Google told me I wasn’t crazy. Bigger, most definitely, but not crazy. To quote a blog called WalletPop:
Perhaps sensing the rumblings of a national riot, a rep for the Girl Scouts in Texas, where bigger is better, was quick to explain. Flour prices have gone up by 30%, and cocoa by 20%.
“We aren’t talking about a drastic change. We are just talking about a couple cookies,” said the rep. Well, yes, but the boxes are also getting smaller, so the Scouts will save on packaging, too.
It was either reduce the portions or raise the price of a box above the current $3.50-to-$4 threshold, she said. Of course, it still means you’ll be paying more per cookie than you were last year. And they weren’t a great deal to begin with: One blogger noted back in 2005 that even with 15 cookies in a box, the price worked out to nearly a quarter for each little cookie.
I paid $.31 per cookie.
And this related news is apparently so 2007, but I just heard about it when researching those cheap skate Girl Scouts. The Cadbury Cream Egg has also gotten much smaller over the years but without the Scout honor code of truth, Cadbury actually just lied about it and told fat-ass America that we’ve just gotten bigger. We may not notice when our national debt skyrockets or when an entire major city is being flooded after a hurricane, but don’t even try to mess with our snacks. Apparently, so many people noticed the shrinking egg that Cadbury included this on its online FAQ page:
Q: Why has the size of the egg changed?
A: It hasn’t – you’ve just grown up!
But then the show formerly known as “Conan,” had Cadbury collector/actor B.J. Novak on as a guest and awww snap! – Cadbury got owned. (video below)
There were a few times when guests complained about the portion size (at The Capital Grille….Omg Wtf?) when I would have loved to say, “That steak doesn’t look like 18 ounces because your chins weigh about 26 ounces and they are blocking your view. Now I’ll be right back with that ketchup, mmmkay?”
The worst best was when guests ordered a one or two-pound lobster “out of the shell” and waited eagerly picturing a pound of lobster meat the same way they see a pound of hamburger at the grocery store. Darn if those shells don’t nearly weigh a pound themselves……wah wah waaaaaaaaah.