Editor's Note: This column first appeared in the Hope Star-Journal newspaper.

Well, the Girl Scouts have done it again.

Every year when I finally make it to March in my perpetual New Year's diet resolution, they show up with their infernal Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Trefoils.

I try to be generous and tell myself these little darlings are just out selling a few simple cookies in the name of God, country and Scouting. But I know in my heart those sentiments are a bunch of baloney.

The old Soviet KGB could have learned a few things about subversive tactics and dirty tricks from those smiling cherubs.

I want to point out I am not a weak man. I am capable of going to a pizzeria and ordering a small salad with low-fat dressing and a glass of water. I can stroll down the corn chip aisle at the grocery without getting delirium tremors. I once ate half a Snickers bar.

I can overcome all of these temptations because those who are tempting me are honest people. Not so with the Girl Scouts. They are devious children who plan their cookie campaign as if they were landing at Normandy.

First they come to my door with clean, angelic faces -- uniforms pressed and a sash full of bling across their shoulders. And they are polite - oh so polite - as if Norman Rockwell had created them for some 1950s cover for The Saturday Evening Post.

But do they show me cookies and give me a chance to steel my resolve and reject temptation? No, they show me a colorful folder full of PICTURES of cookies; airbrushed pictures taken by professional cookie photographers in some ungodly place like New York City.

When I look at these pictures I can taste the Thin Mints. I have flashbacks to the afternoon last year when I sat by the fireplace, devoured an entire box of Tagalongs and chased them with a quart of chocolate milk.

Before I can recover, they quickly point out they have no cookies with them - only pictures. They say they are just taking orders for cookies that won't be delivered for several weeks. (They learned in their Afghan training camps to imply that although I am now fat, I will be thin by the time the cookies arrive and thus will be able to eat them without guilt.)

Then they show me the order form, which already is filled out with the names of my neighbors, including old skinflint McGrew who lives down the street and a lot of very thin people who never gain an ounce on Samoas.

Out of civic responsibility and the conviction that I will be thin before the cookies arrive, I order 700 boxes from the little darling.

In a few weeks the doorbell rings again.

It is the same Girl Scout. Now, however, she is not dressed in the official uniform. Her face is smeared with chocolate and "Hi, Fatty" is emblazoned across her grungy sweatshirt. Her left sleeve is pushed up to her elbow and a tattoo on her forearm screams "Born to Raise Blood Sugar."

She roars into my living room on a Harley chopper, pulling a cattle trailer full of cookies. She dumps them in the middle of the floor, collects $2,800 and speeds away in a fit of fiendish laughter.

In the six weeks since I placed the order I have gained another 41 pounds - since I reasoned I would start my diet after the cookies arrived.

There are no Surgeon General warnings on the boxes, so I open the first one. Two days later, all 700 boxes are empty and I am stuck in the bathtub. (Later it will have to be surgically removed at a cost of $3,200 for the plumber and $1,200 for the surgeon.)

I know this is the way the Girl Scouts planned it all. I am the victim and next year I will be the victim again.

It is all a part of the universal Girl Scout conspiracy to take over the world by making us all too fat to move.

Cookies, my friend, can be a crumby business.