KIT OF THE MONTH
Boy Kit of the Month

The first step is admitting it!

Hi, my name is Karen and I have an addiction to Diet Coke.

Wow! I feel so much better just saying that! BRB - kind of thirsty .  . .

When I used to work full-time at a construction company I developed a bit of a coffee habit so at one point I just quit cold turkey and went water-only for a year and a half. I still don't drink coffee at home - just occasionally with friends or on trips. Oh, and in Europe, where they'll hook you up to a coffee IV if you ask.

But this Diet Coke addiction is much harder to kick.

It might be easier if I were trying. Heh

Right now I don't have any Diet Coke in the fridge. I'm out. I'm also out of cereal and every ingredient for, say, a meal. It's amazing what you'll feed your family to avoid the grocery store. Can you say ramen noodles and applesauce? I knew you could!

I am not, however, content to go all Hubbard's-Dog for even a day without my Diet Coke. The benefit of this, to my family, is that my loathing of the grocery store pales in comparison to my jonesin' for the DC. This normally means that the family has a peaceful mama broiling some pork chops after only a day or two of ramen and/or breakfast-food-for-dinner.

Normally, that is.

But this is cookie season and I am, as I tend to remind you, a VITCM. (Very Important Troop Cookie Manager) (I added the VI to the title. I think it calls for it.)

Almost every day I seem to be running out to the Cookie Cupboards to get more cookies, return cookies, exchange damaged cookies, etc. And in addition to eating up any time allowance I have for grocery shopping, I'm passing drive-thru after drive-thru on my journeys.

Yesterday, for instance, I picked up cookies at 10:00 am. That particular cupboard is run by a Cookie Nazi. She's really, really, really, really, really (to quote Paula) . . . a good singer! Actually, I don't know about her signing talent, but she's really, really, really, really, really blunt and kind of mean, if I'm being honest. (to quote Simon)

I had been there just the day before, was prompt for my 10 am appointment, and she still greeted me as follows:

CN: And who might you be?

Me: Oh, I'm Karen, Troop number ***, and I'm here to pick up 19 Caramel Delites and 6 Lemon-

CN: (interrupting) I don't need to know your order. I've pulled the orders. I just need your name.

Me: (meekly) OK. Sorry.

Yes, I actually apologized to her. Feel free to wipe your feet on me.

This was not the first time she was rude. I was supposed to call on Sunday if we had any cookies to return from our booth sales, but since we didn't finish until after 9 pm, and I wasn't in a position to call her until after 10, I decided to wait until Monday morning to call:

Me: Hi, I have a case of Thin Mints to return after our booth sale last night. You told me to call by Sunday, but it was late last night when I got home and I didn't think I should call after 10 pm.

CN: Look, I'm a Cookie Cupboard. (She said this like "I am BARRY EFFING GIBB!") and we keep long hours for the convenience of YOU. You should have called last night. I told you to call by Sunday because I needed to know BY SUNDAY!!!

Me: Oh. OK. Sorry about that. Can I still return the mints?

CN: Yes, I will take them back, just this once, but you must bring them to me TODAY!

Me: OK. Sorry.

Yes, I actually apologized twice. Feel free to blow your nose on me.

She even talked trash about another Cookie Cupboard while I was there, saying that the other lady wasn't able to keep up and handle her orders. It was true, but we both knew that the reason was because this other lady's daughter had started fainting at school and she was going to various doctors appointments. I give the lady a PASS on that one. Hmmm, fill orders for cookies or take my daughter to a neurologist while praying that she's not gravely ill .  . . so . . .hard . . . to . . . decide.

And so I think we can all agree that yesterday morning, driving home from my third emotionally-scarring experience with the CN, screamed out for a Diet Coke fix. I decided on Wendys.

Now normally I'm a "Medium Diet Coke" orderer. At home I try to limit myself to one half-liter bottle a day. In an attempt to cut that down even further I switched to cans . . . but started drinking 2 a day. Whoops. Might have to go back on the bottle. (Irony intended)

But I was emotionally scarred, remember, so I decided to order a LARGE. And I hadn't eaten breakfast but it wasn't quite lunch yet. Scanning the menu for something suitably snack-like, I settled on a bag of Baked Lays potato chips. (Cheetos weren't an option. I know. UNBELIEVABLE!)

The cashier at the first window was a friendly (yay!) older woman.

CASHIER: Aren't those Baked Lays good? I just had a bag myself a little earlier.

ME: Oh, yes, they're quite tasty.

But I LIED! I mean, they aren't bad, as far as baked chips go. I prefer the barbecue flavor, if I'm choosing baked chips. But she just seemed so pleased with my healthy order that I couldn't break it to her that I chose the chips as the only option for that time of morning. As John pointed out later, an hour from then it would have been a Biggie Fries! I'm just saying that if I could have taken my Baked Lays and swam around in a pool of French Onion dip, I would have. Show me to the diving board, my good chap! (Or chap-ess. I have lifeguard gender determination issues, you know!)

Was it necessary for the nice cashier to know that I think their menu offering in the chips department is less-than-stellar? Of course not! We both left the window smiling. SMILING, Cookie Nazi. Say it with me: SMILE + ING! Stay in your garage and terrify the VITCM's, but don't you DARE go through the drive-thru at Wendys and mess with Baked-Lays-Bertha or I WILL NOT needlessly apologize the next time I see you! I mean it!

Heh.

Now the Large Diet Coke was a whole other comedy. The Wendy's worker handed it to me using two hands. And she was wearing wrist braces! (OK, not really) The cup was HUGE! It had a narrowed bottom part to allow for drink-holder usage, (Those Wendys engineers are SMART, YO!) but my girly hands were not large enough to span the top and allow easy lifting of the cup. Plus, it weighed about a preemie-Karl! (2 lbs, 9 ozs) I was driving down the road hoping for red lights so I could bend over and sip some nectar from the bucket.

Pity me, for I know that I am pathetic.

But what's not pathetic . . . (Segues, so good at the segues)

. . .were the performances of the guys on American Idol last night! I was thoroughly entertained! I particularly liked Chris Sligh, AJ and Blake, but really they were all pretty good. Maybe not Sanjaya, who I think Simon might rank lower than puppies, and Brandon, who needs to get out of his "I'm a background singer" rut, but even those two didn't scratch the surface of horrendousness that was one week ago.

I had read some of the banter on the TWoP boards after last week's show and was aware that people think Chris R. is channeling Justin Timberlake, but I didn't share that observation with John. So imagine the fits of laughter when Chris R. finished his song last night and John sang out:

JOHN: Give it on up for Homelessville!

I choked on my cookie.

I really hope that Phil brings something more memorable to next week's show, if he makes it through. He strikes me as a really great guy and has major makeover potential. Plus I like his voice, even if Simon says it's not distinctive. I'm not saying he's my new Elliott, because there can be only one, but I'm just rooting for the guy to bring it.

Elliott's album goes on sale March 20th. You can already download a single from iTunes. Atta boy!

Typing up this blog post was funner than watching paint dry! No, really - I just painted all the slide mounts for the Boy Kit of the Month and had to wait for them to dry. And so . . . I get back to it!

REQOTD (Emma: An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it has to be a really big apple. Me: Why does it have to be a really big apple? Emma: To crush the doctor.)

*Note* Being somewhat disturbed by Emma's train of thought there, I inquired what made her think of crushing a doctor with a really big apple. She said that she saw a picture of a doctor under an apple in one of her Franny K. Stein books. Whew. Therapy can wait until after braces!

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