I had a farm in Africa
T minus one day . . .

Not enough *this week* in *this week*

Those were the words I typed to my pal Jen, wringing my hands that I would never finish everything that needs to be done before we leave. I'm sorry to report that being stressed out makes me very unfunny, although I have one amusing story to share.

I'm the cookie manager for Emma's Brownie troop and although cookie sales go on for another week, we decided to finish everything up this week so I could turn in paperwork before my trip. Last weekend we had two booth sales - one at King Soopers and one at Walmart. Well we did great - sold out every cookie we had. This meant that I had to get additional cookies for this weekend's booth sale from one of the "cookie cupboards" that are strategically located around town. Except it wasn't so strategic because my local cookie cupboard wouldn't return my calls, so last Thursday I had to drive about a half an hour to a mountain subdivision to pick up the cookies. (Chrysler - thank you for that DVD player and thank you for the ability to plug video games into it. Will you marry me?)

Our sale was set up for Walmart again. They have two doors - the merchandise door and the grocery door. They schedule a troop for each door. We had the merchandise door last weekend (when we sold out) and had it again this weekend, so I ordered about as many cookies as we sold the time before. Seems logical, right? Same door, same location, same amount of cookies. (The logic, so good at the logic!) It's all a guessing game because you can't return cookies - once you sign for them they're yours and if the troop doesn't sell them, they have to pay for them. It's child labor and gambling all rolled into one. You know - wholesome!

So imagine my dismay when the Grand Pubah Cookie Council lady called me Friday night to say that there was a problem. Walmart had double booked the merchandise door and the Cancer Society would be there collecting donations. The manager had moved us to the LAWN & GARDEN DOOR! Hello?! It's winter in Colorado - who uses the lawn & garden door?! I whined about how I'd signed for a lot of cookies and it was our last booth sale. She said they'd take the cookies back, but I'd have to drive out to the remote cookie cupboard THAT NIGHT to return them. So here it was, dinner time, and I was facing another hour out of my day to take care of cookie overstock. I was sulky because it wasn't my fault, that's why!

Grand Pubah did say that she wasn't sure when the Cancer Society would arrive, and since we had the morning shift, perhaps we could use the merchandise door until they showed up. I figured it was worth a try and since there had been a few private orders on Friday (thanks Joanna!) our inventory wasn't *that* excessive.

Yesterday morning I drove into the Walmart parking lot crossing my fingers that I wouldn't see the Cancer Society at our door but sadly, I saw someone setting up a table. Rats.

But wait! I saw boxes of cookies and realized that it was the other troop - the one from the food door. Oh good! Maybe the Cancer Society wouldn't show up after all. I rolled down the window (and by "rolled" I mean pushed a button, of course) and said "Excuse me - I think you guys are supposed to be at the other door. Our troop was assigned the merchandise door." I was just being helpful, after all. Didn't want them to get all set up and then have to move. I'm nice that way.

"Well we checked inside and they said we could set up at either door so we chose this one." the leader lady said.

Whoa. Not so nice. She said that with a lot of attitude. A real "you snooze, you lose" type of tone to it. I was just about to pull out my confirmation paper showing very clearly that we had the merchandise door when it hit me . . .

I dropped the paper back onto the seat.

"Oh, OK. We'll just take the food door then." I said, very sweetly and with every appearance of being agreeable.

"Sounds good," she replied, obviously very proud of herself for snagging what she thought was the better door. I could almost hear her mutter "Sucker" under her breath.

So you know what happened, right?

The Cancer Society showed up soon afterward.

BWAAAA HAAAAA HAAAAAAA! It was just so perfect! They had to move, but not all the way to Lawn & Garden. It looked like they still had plenty of customers. OUR customers, in fact, although we did fine at the food door. We ended up selling all but three boxes, which we'll send to the soldiers overseas.

And actually, if they had come down and demanded their door back I wouldn't have argued. I just thought it was poetic justice for her superior tone of voice. I'm not sure, but I think she may have even had a puffy zippered bank envelope! (Nah - just kidding!)

Overall the cookie experience has been a lot of work, but the girls exceeded their goals and learned some great skills in the process, so I would rate it as a total success.

Well, except for the obscene amount of cookies I've been eating. *sigh*

TPBQOTD (That's right. When I was your age television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick and I used to read it to your father. And today I'm going to read it to you.)

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