“It’s Cookie Time!”

That message haunts me as I drive around town these days, as I see it displayed in store windows and private yards alike, reminding me of my eternal arch-nemesis – the Girl Scouts of America.

For years, I’ve given in to their marketing schemes, the cheap ploy of having doe-eyed little girls come in and beg you to buy their cookies, telling you that they’ll get a merit badge/ be able to go to Cookie Camp/ get a new computer/ be Queen of all the Girl Scouts/ get to go on the International Space Station…

I’ll be honest with you, readers:

Once the cookies have materialized, I’m not usually listening to the words coming out of the kids’ mouths. I honestly don’t know what it is Girl Scouts get for selling massive amounts of cookies.

I always assumed they got points and got to pick various cheap, foreign-made prizes out of a catalog to spend said points, not unlike the old Marlboro system.

(And those cookies are just as addictive as a pack of Menthol Milds. Don’t be fooled. People just haven’t found a way to freebase Thin Mints yet.)

“Congrats, little Susie, you sold thousands of dollars worth of cookies for us, so you get to use your 2,000 points to buy either a spare tire to Barbie’s Malibu Convertible or two plastic mustache combs.”

Oh, those delicious, sinful cookies.

The proud Tagalongs. The delightful Do-Si-Dos.

The Thin Mints. Dear God, the Thin Mints.

Why did they have to have Thin Mints?

(I’ll admit to consuming at least three Thin Mints while writing to this point in the column.)

And if I don’t buy them now, I may not get any, because Girl Scout Cookies have a season.

When does Cookie Season end? Since when are cookies seasonal anyway?

Swallows return to Capistrano, but what about Trefoils?

What’s the average airspeed velocity of a coconut-laden Samoan?

This barrage of insane questions starts to play in my head, and I find myself handing over stacks of dollars to those green-clad little imps for boxes upon boxes of cookies, hoarding them for the inevitable cookie famine that shall soon befall the land.

Friendly freezers across the county will see random boxes of Thin Mints pop up within them, as I start geocaching cookies to be consumed at my convenience.

(Fact: Thin Mints are always better frozen. This is not open for discussion; it’s just true.)

I wish I had the strength to say “No” to these powdered sugar pushers.

We learned in the DARE program years ago to “Just Say No” to the evils of drugs.

I know just what to say to some junkie who offers me heroin or some Coke-bottle meth, but Nancy Reagan didn’t teach young me anything about what to do about a box of Lemonades.

So, I’ll keep feeding my habit, literally, continuing the cycle of addiction I’ve dealt with for years, hoping that a spot will open up at the prestigious Cookie Monster Clinic for the Cookie Addicted.

It’s Cookie Time, friends. Be afraid.