I only bought the stuff out of my innate spirit of sexual egalitarianism, but I think the Boy Scouts need to take a cue from the competing Girl Scouts here. These bouncy girl-children, in their season, operate in enthusiastic packs, screeching in unison "DO YOU WANT TO BUY SOME GIRL SCOUT COOKIES?" at anyone exiting the supermarket, including obvious diabetics and painfully thin vegans. They are backed up at all times by a cluster of steely-eyed Girl Scout Moms. Most importantly, you can get them to leave you alone for just four bucks.
Girl Scout Cookies are sold for at least a month, whereas Boy Scout Popcorn Time is much briefer. When I went back to the supermarket the next day the Scout and his dad were gone, and the Hispanic lady in the white uniform who murmurs "Do you want to donate to the Mexican Red Cross?" to everyone who passes by was back in the spot.
"No hablo Espanol," I say to her brightly, and escape in the confusion. She's easier to ignore than the signature collectors who sometimes replace her. They wave petitions for new propositions in my face, trying to shame me into doing my civic duty by getting me to encourage a process by which the great political questions of California are determined by the voters, typically people who are willing to think about any big problem for maybe three seconds before deciding that the government ought to fix it, then wait another three seconds and start complaining about big government.
I tell them "If it's a proposition to outlaw propositions, I'll sign it." They get their stony silence on when I say that. It's their living, after all. It's like asking a farmer to help you outlaw wheat.
The supermarket itself is getting into the soliciting act. For a few weeks there, they kept asking "Do you want to donate a dollar to help cure cancer?" when they rung up my order.
"No, I want what I put on the belt," I finally replied. "Has the basic process of getting stuff here changed, or what?" This sent the checkout kid into a hopeless mental tailspin. He was still stuttering out an explanation when I was headed out the door. I know he was just doing his job, and I ought to be ashamed of myself, but like many other people, I spend much less time being ashamed of myself than I should.
Besides, I was buying a twelve-pack of beer and a half-gallon of vodka. He should have asked if I wanted to help cure cirrhosis.