Parents Rip Off the Girl Scouts

June 14, 2016 - Malcolm Gladwell 06/14/2016 Views: 5,551

Parents fail to pay for tens of thousands of boxes of Girl Scout cookies, prompting a pair of debt collectors to crack down on cookie deadbeats. (5:05)

-(cheers and applause)-Welcome back!

Now, earlier, we were speakingof lowering the bar on society,

and there was one other storyI wanted to mention tonight.

Some parents are stealingtens of thousands of these

from local Girl Scouts,and it's not the first time.


Girl Scout cookies?

People aren't payingfor Girl Scout cookies?!

-Is there nothing sacred left?-(laughter)


(with accent):What do you want? Do-si-dos?

Tagalongs? Thin Mints?

Don't worry about it.They fell off a truck.

They try to have a systemin place

so that the troopis not affected

if it does have some Scoutsin cookie debt.


Cookie debt?

Seriously, America, how muchdebt are we putting our kids in?

Right? First,we got college debt.

Now they gotto worry about cookie debt?

And most college kids are, like,in weed debt, right?

(laughter, cheering)

Which... which, be fair--

puts them even deeperinto cookie debt, ironically.

-(laughter)-It's a vicious cycle, you guys.


So here's what's happening.Here's what's happening.

This makes my brain explode.

As a parentof a Girl Scout, you know,

you have to estimate how manycookies your Scout may sell,

and if they come up short,now you're stuck

with having to payfor those cookies.

Hence, the cookie debt.

You guys,Bernie Sanders talked...

He talked all about this, right?

This is whathe was talking about.

And it was dramatizedbeautifully in that movie

The Big Shortbread, I think it was called.


I apologize.I apologize for that one.

That's my bad.

Okay, well,how are they getting the money?

WOMAN: We have a delinquency form

that the troops can fill out.

Say, you know,a parent did not pay us,

a customer did not pay us.

And what we'll do iswe'll investigate that debt.

(laughing):Oh, man.

Investigate that debt?

I'm not sure what that meansexactly.

All right, to find outmore about this issue,

let's talkwith two representatives

of the Girl scouts of America--Joey and Crystal.

(cheers and applause)

WILMORE:Wait. Uh...

Hold on. Are you guys, uh...?

You guys areGirl Scout leaders?

We're associated.


Just independent contractors

who ferret out cookie deadbeatsand make them pay.

Jesus! What's the bat for?

-Hitting (bleep).-Yeah.


Yeah, like softballsand (bleep).

Yeah. Yeah,not like skulls or anything.

-Nah. Nah. Nah.-Don't worry about it.

Okay, all right,but, you know,

the whole storyabout cookie debt

seems kind of ridiculous,doesn't it?

-Wow. -WILMORE: What? What?

-You did not just say that.-WILMORE: What? What did I say?

-Wow.-WILMORE: What?

Look, the Girl Scouts

and its loosely associatednetwork of enforcers

are America's last lineof defense for total decency.

-Don't try to rip off the GirlScouts, mother (bleep). -Yeah.

-Whoa, whoa, whoa, I'm not.-(Bleep).

-Don't do it!-What the (bleep)!

-Calm down.-Don't do it!

-What the (bleep)! -I'm notdoing anything. I'm not doing...

I appreciate you protectingthis organization,

but I have to say,

your tone doesn't seemvery Girl Scout to me.

Oh, oh, is this Girl Scoutenough for you?

-This is my badgefor needlework. -(laughter)

Oh. Oh, that's nice.That's kind of cute.

Yeah, I stucka giant sewing needle

into the eye of a deadbeat

who wouldn't payfor her Peanut Butter Patties.

-(cheers and applause)-WILMORE: Oh, my.

Oh. Oh.

Pay your debt, Miss Paulson,

-while you still gotone good eye. -(laughter)

Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

This is kind of messed up,you guys.

It's not very scout-like,is all I'm saying.

I mean, really,all this over cookies?

-It's not the cookies, Larry.-Uh-huh.

The cookies are just a symptom

of a much bigger problemin America, Larry.

Um, obesity?


-Smart-mouthed mother (bleep).-WILMORE: Oh, wait.

-Aah!-(cheers and applause)

Aah! Larry, do not make me earnmy creative play badge

right now, bro.

-(laughter)-Don't do it. -I...

'Cause that's a lot more violentthan it sounds, trust me.

I believe that.I believe that.

Okay, okay, I got this.I got this.

-Yeah.-Larry, you like Thin Mints?

Um, they're all right.

They're more than all right,mother (bleep).

-Okay, all right.-Okay, yes. They're awesome.

-You love Thin Mints!-I love them. I love them.

I love them, yeah.

Now, Thin Mints--they're the thin minty line

between America 's decent,law-abiding,

honor-code-following young girls

who are the future leadersof tomorrow...

And the peoplewho will soon be broken-thumbed.


Okay, um, um,quick cookie question.

Um, do you guys haveany Savannah Smiles?

-We're not in sales, homie.-Oh. -(laughter)

Yeah, for us,a Savannah Smile is

when someone owes theGirl Scouts $25 in cookie debt,

-and you curb-stomp their jaw.-(laughter and groaning)

Is that what you want, Larry?Is that what you want?

You want us to curb-stompyour jaw? Is that what you want?

-No. No, no, no, I don't. I'mgood. -That's what I thought.

Joey and Crystal,protecting the Girl Scouts

-of America, everybody.-All right.