Brownies vs Xenu vs Scotch

My Fellow Inebriates,

It was “friend night” at Brownies, and Miss P got an invitation from her BFF. She was so excited that she ran all the way to the meeting. When it was over, she begged to join.

This confirms a household suspicion about Brownies: it is a cult. Think—what other sorts of events lure you in via the buddy system? An already-brainwashed friend invites you along…

  • Timeshares
  • Anthony Robbins–style self-help seminars
  • Scientology

Good grief—if only AA meetings were as compelling as any of these. They leave you feeling abject—like something’s missing from your life that only that special group of special people can supply. Without it you’re empty, bereft. Seriously, you could attend an AA meeting and walk out of it with a shrug (how good is cake without kirsch, anyway?) but Brownies? OMG, P is rabid to join Brownies.

Yesterday fairies, sprites, and pixies were the stuff of books she’s not that keen to read anyway. Today Miss P would yank out another tooth for the privilege of dancing around a toadstool, selling Dad overpriced cookies, and earning badges for such accomplishments as putting her underwear in the hamper or breathing air. Holy crap, it looks like Brownies is in our future.

How much does Brownies cost? Like the web page is gonna tell you. L. Ron Hubbard wouldn’t tell you up front. The info is nowhere to be seen on the website. As with scientology, we’re going to endure some face time with entities such as Snowy Owl, Purple Owl, and Horny Owl getting the sales pitch on what essential skills P now lacks that cannot be gleaned anywhere else.

Desperate to know how much money we’ll need to divert from liquor to Brownies, I queried another source. Apparently Brownies costs more per year than a very good bottle of Scotch, and they hit you up for $2 every time you attend. Never mind the multiple cases of cookies we’ll end up buying when my parents are too busy/lazy to trot P around the neighborhood pleading with people to pony up $5 a box.

So this is all very dire. Let’s hope it makes P happy.


The dark side of gummy bear hedonism

I got a shock when I looked at my gummy bears this morning.

They were supposed to look happy and plumply saturated with rum.

But instead, they’d turned into goo.

Neither of my two brain cells had remembered my own posts about flavoring vodka with Skittles and Jolly Ranchers, a process in which those candies dissolve uniformly…

I felt sick.

It reminded me of Breaking Bad—meth-peddling thugs get liquefied in an acid bath after messing with the wrong dudes. Only my little bears weren’t thugs, and I was the wrong dude.

The horror.

My head was spinning. Holy shit, I’d done something ghastly to my little compatriots and there was no way they were coming back from it.

What would you do??

I had to get my head on straight.

I visited my friend Blackie Bear, not generally known for sensible advice, but comforting in a bearish way.

If he was shocked about the fate of the gummy bears he didn’t indicate it; he maintained a neutral expression as I poured out the story of their execution.

Blackie is a good listener.

Finally he said, “Bro, you can’t get upset about it. Gummy bears aren’t like us, buddy. They don’t feel. They’re not smart. They’re just…candy. You don’t think those gummy bears chose to dive into the Bacardi, do you?”

“No,” I said. “I gave them a pep talk first. And now they’re dead.”

Blackie was still for a while. Actually, he’s good at staying still. Sometimes he doesn’t move at all for days. He stared at me very hard for a long time before saying:

Dude. Dude, those bears aren’t bears, they’re just candy. You can’t anthropomorphize them.”

I looked into Blackie’s dark, beady eyes, close-set in his smallish head. He is so cuddly, Blackie Bear. But as I peered at him I was overwhelmed by a troubling thought. Something inescapable rose in me like a scream. Blackie isn’t…he isn’t….Blackie isn’t really…he’s not a real…

He’s not a real psychiatrist. I mean, he doesn’t have any training or anything. I don’t even know where he learned the word “anthropomorphize.”