Tag Archive | how-to

Scout Savvy

This one is a bit of advice for those Girl Scout moms out there. As you know, cookie season is headed our way and there’s a lot that’s changed since those years when we were wearing that vest. Nowadays us parents have to commit to a number of cookies which are then given to us and become our sole financial responsibility whether they sell or not. No more order forms for today’s scouts!

One thing that hasn’t changed one bit, though, is the competitive nature of cookie season, whether its between troops or even between girls in the same troop. I don’t know about you ladies, but I like to win. I like to dominate. Ladies whose dreams felt unreachable and had kids as a fallback to say they did something with their lives and now all they really have in existence is being a mother: I’m talking to you.

So, on the faith that no one in my competing scout district reads this blog, here it is: Cosmocharlatan’s Scout Success Guide.

1. Location, location, location

Sure, the troop leaders will let you rent out a table at their local grocery store or shopping mall, but you’ve got your own cookies now. That means a bitch is mobile. Get your own $5 plastic table and set that shit up outside the nearest head shop. My girl scout and I live in Colorado, so there’s plenty to choose from. But even if it’s not legal in your state, look for stores that are pretending to be medical facilities but have unqualified staff and no background in medicine. Look for any store with the following words in the title: green, earth, natural, healing, meds, alternative, canna (random noun), herbal, remedy, etc.

Once you’ve got your head shop and have your dollar store display, get ready for a never-ending stream of the hungriest customers in your area. Best of all, they’re not health-conscious and their spending money is all cash.

2. Espionage 

I hear a lot of people frowning on freelance espionage in today’s society. They call it “snooping” or “intruding” or “breaking and entering.” Feh. I call it “being informed.” The way I see it, if you’re going to exist on the same planet as me, you’re gonna have my nose in your shit. Not literally.

If you’re the kind of woman who more accurately fits the description of “unofficial private investigator” than “wife and mother,” welcome to the club. No need for introductions, I already know your name. I also have your dental records.

Now while society is busy frowning on you for swabbing their glasses for DNA samples, you’re gonna be putting those skills to use to obliterate the competition.

Find out the girls in your troop. Find their mothers. Find their fathers, wherever the hell they may be. Find where they’re selling and who they’ve sold to and how many cookies. Find their weaknesses and strengths, their pressure points and combat skills. Get a map of the fire exits in their apartment buildings, the schematics to their house. Know your enemy. Defeat your enemy.

3. Sabatoge 

Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of those pint-sized adversaries, you must employ an ancient sales tactic. Help them to help you. Sure, you can rely on your cookie selling skills, but wouldn’t it be a bit more lucrative if the competition had a bit of an infestation in their boxes? It may be cold in February, but there’s lots of hideous creatures skittering around if you’re willing to dig. And believe me, sister, winners are willing to dig.

Wouldn’t it also be advantageous if the customers’ electronic sales were charged as $80 a box instead of $5? It only takes a small amount of technical know-how to tamper with the average girl scout mom’s “apple square” that she plugs into her phone. This technique may take a week or so to reach a crescendo, but it will be a glorious one indeed. This is an excellent tactic to use on your most intimidating competitor due to the likelihood of them being disbanded from girl scouts and/or arrested.

4. No Small Amount of Bullshit

Size up your customers to see what might interest them, then lie your ass off.

“No, lady in fitness equipment, there’s no carbs, sugar or calories in this cookie. Those are old boxes. This year’s cookies are basically air that tastes like heaven and hits you like cocaine.”

“Why yes, creepy-looking older man whom I won’t let too close to my child, these are penis-enlarging peanut butter tagalongs.”

“As a matter of fact, arrogant bloke pushing thirty in a dorky red hat cause you think nobody gets the Holden Caulfield reference, these cookies will, in fact, get publishers to call you back about that manuscript you call an epic.”

Hopefully this helps those of you who are not competing against my girl scout. If any of my readers are competing against us this month, take this article as a warning. You have made a powerful enemy.




Make this House a Home

Some of you ladies read my bouquet article and thought to yourselves, Self, this bouquet is literally genius, but my house needs a touch of drama!

Well girls, this one’s for you.

If you find that despite following the gospel of Our Lady Martha Stewart, despite spacing every towel in the linen closet at least two inches apart to allow airflow and despite arranging your living room into perfect clusters of Louis XVI chair-sofa-chair, despite coordinating every pillow, doily and flake of drywall to fit into a professional triadic scheme, your home still reeks of being occupied by organic human bodies, I have just the thing.

What you need is attitude. Passion. Flare. Flame. Inferno.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by choices when coordinating the ideal house fire. You’ll find more than everything you need in the housewares section at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They have kerosene, lighter fluid, gasoline (if you’re a bit old-fashioned). You’ll find flammable rags next to the dinner napkins and wine glasses with the wine glasses to make a chic, classy molotov. Of course, some people find charm in a more Little House on the Prairie look, in which case you can find gingham cloth and mason jars at Joann’s Fabrics. Or the southern states. Or really anywhere you hear someone being referred to as “uncle dad.”

You may find it tempting to section off an area of your home and put some sort of flame retardant substance around to make sure the fire burns only where you want it to, but the most charming thing about a house fire is the absolute lack of control. The unpredictability. Let that fire consume your home. Your doilies, your drapes. Let it jump from chair to sofa to chair and eat the hand-embroidered upholstery the way you wish you could eat bread.

Light those matches, throw those molotovs, sit back, and have yourself a ball while the house decorates itself. I personally guarantee you’ll be on the front page. Not of Architectural Digest, but surely something. 

Bouquet Know-How: Make it Pretty, Make it Pop!

Girls, it’s a constant struggle making your house a home. We work and sweat and slave over every little throw pillow and scented candle to create the illusion that it’s more than just a comically undersized box of garbage-secreting monkeys that you are indebted to for your entire adult life.

My favorite little trick? Flower power! A well-coordinated bouquet of flowers can create a powerful piece to mask the smell of you and your family’s awful monkey odors and bring color and life into a room.

The first thing you want to do is decide the primary color of the bouquet. It should match the primary color of the room in which it will be displayed so that contrasting colors can be added subtly in the mix. Is your home a mixture of white walls and off-white carpet with white plastic blinds? Try to have the main body of the bouquet be a collection of leafy flowery bits. My favorite kind is a large-petaled flower that I call Those Big Pink Shits. 

Now that you have the body of Big Pink Shits, try to make it pop with some contrasting flowers such as Those Little Purple Shits and some leafage. You want leaves that are large and showy, so I usually pick a large green selection that I believe is called Big Ass Leaves. Just google it, you’ll see.

Finally, you’ll want some contrasting foliage. Try those long wispy bits, I believe they’re called Pokey Bastards, cause they’re always up in a bitch’s eye.

There you have it! Slap it all together and your house is now a home.



Love the Skin You’re in – or Leave it

The first issue we’re going to tackle here on Cosmocharlatan is one that we get a lot of complaints about – unwanted facial hair! Now we all know that it is completely unacceptable to have any hair on your face below the eyelashes and all brow hair must remain within the Designated Brow Zone (TM), lest you be outed as the horrendous she-yeti that you became the second you hit puberty.

My guess is that you’ve tried waxing, shaving and plucking, only to find yourself scorched, shredded and bumpier than an aged butterball turkey. So what to do? What’s the most innovative way to alter your natural face to look more like a real woman? Ok friends, get ready for this:



  1. Get a hold of the skin around your jaw – we’ll call this the ‘gobble’ – and grasp it firmly with your fingernails digging into the dermis.
  2. Pull sharply upward until you feel your face start to dislodge. Don’t get squeamish now, beauty is pain!
  3. Fully remove your face and scalp until you are just a skull with eyes. [NOTE: It’s preferable to leave a bit of muscle tissue at this stage.]
  4. Soak your new head in a basin of gasoline or other highly flammable liquid.
  5. Light a match and watch the boys go wild! We call this one Ghost Rider Glam!