“Sorry,” I mumbled, trying to look downtrodden, “I, uhm, have the flu?”

“Still!?!” exclaimed my neighbor, backing up a step, and I realized I’d used that one a month ago.

“Again,” I said, solemnly, and she gave me the look reserved for rabid raccoons and Typhoid Mary.

OK, so I was embroidering a bit (i.e., lying), but how else do you explain still being in your nightgown, hair uncombed, at 12:45 on a Saturday afternoon?

Truth is, I got up at 7 (really), fed the cats, made breakfast and happily dove into the mysteries of Adobe Premiere and website video production. Had my neighbor not rung my doorbell I would, without a doubt, still be building video sequences, creating titles, rendering files and proving why I will never, ever be a moviemaker.

So tell me where in the rulebook it says you must be showered and fully dressed to play with your home computer?

Anyway, she and her daughter were delivering Girl Scout cookies. “We’ve made several attempts to deliver,” she said reproachfully, “So it’s probably just as well you’re sick. Again.”

Behind my back, my neighbors probably call me “that invalid chick who painted her house purple and blue.” (but that’s another story)

Around here, Girl Scout cookies are something of a drug on the market. When I moved into the neighborhood, it was mostly singletons and retired people. Seems that singletons get married and have babies, and retired people move to Scottsdale or die, to be replaced by more married singletons with babies.

I’ve been here more than a decade; the babies have grown into Girl Scouts, and they all sell cookies.

Kids, here’s a tip: When you have something to sell, especially overpriced processed foods full of fat and sugar, hunt down the never-had-kids females in your neighborhood. Charmed by your innocent avarice and, having never actually managed rugrats of their own, they won’t know how to say no. You will make a fortune.

I’m living proof of that. I now own seven boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Seven. Bit of a story there.

Today’s cookies were being sold by two little Girl Scouts who came to my door last month. They tromped up to my front porch, badge-bespangled and lists in hand, while the moms hovered below. “Pleasewouldyoubuysomecookies?” the first one twinkled, giving me a great big grin and handing me her list.

“Sorry, I’ve got the flu,” I mumbled (I was building this blog, in different pajamas), “I’ll take TWO boxes.”

I figured that buying one box from each little girl would pretty much take care of my cookie obligations. I made some random checks, and happily thrust back the list.

“And now would you buy some cookies from me, too?” said the other kid, displaying HER list.

Here is where mother training would come in handy. The first kid’s grinning because she sold this sucker TWO boxes. Mothers would know how to say, “No, I want to buy one box from EACH of you. So let’s erase one of those checkmarks on YOUR list and put it on HER list.”

But I’m picturing small, happy faces crumbling in dismay, tears sparkling as the mothers brand me “that invalid chick who painted her house purple and blue AND hates little girls.” And I can’t buy just one box from this girl when I’ve bought two boxes from her friend, can I?

“I’ll take two boxes from you, too,” I say bravely, making more random checks. They promise to deliver in February and I shut the door.

Four boxes of cookies. Great.

Next day, the doorbell rings. This time it’s just one small, shy girl, accompanied by Daddy and her little spotty dog. Spotty dog leaps inside to say hello while Girl Scout hides behind Daddy’s pant leg. I exchange dog protocols (i.e., I drop to my knees and pet a squirming, licking mass of furry saliva while making random OOOZAguboy sounds), which brings Girl Scout out from behind the pant leg.

“Don’t you want to buy cookies either?” she says mournfully, near tears. Her daddy explains that they’ve canvassed the neighborhood but everyone’s already bought cookies. “I haven’t sold any cookies today,” she whispers.

I melt. (you knew that was going to happen, right?)

“I’ll take THREE boxes of cookies,” I declare, and that’s that. Seven boxes of cookies, which may be a neighborhood record.

Fortunately, I’m told they freeze. Even more fortunately, I work with web developers. Cookies have been known to last four hours before being totally annihilated by these guys…but they were really, really awful cookies.

So I’m covered. And I’m also going to start dressing on Saturdays.