It’s official! After months of agonizing, apologizing, handwringing and endless consultations, the Girl Guides have changed the name for one of their age categories. You no doubt remember that, starting with the youngest members, it used to be Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers. It’s been over a hundred years since Lady Baden Powell came up with the name Brownies, in honor of her favorite bunch of fairies, but times change. Let’s face it, we just don’t call people that any more – it’s just not acceptable in our brave new world and off-putting to segments of our society. I mean, aside from those offended by the reference to fairies – were the white supremacists of the land really going to send their children to a group called Brownies?

There must have been some fearful wrangling within the ranks in coming up with the new name. After all, they certainly couldn’t get away with changing it from Brownies to Whities just to please one group. The new name had to be appealing and placate everyone. I think they’ve really found a winner. Embers has two wonderful advantages. With the youngest group named Sparks, calling the next age group Embers establishes a rather fetching fire-oriented trend – not a bad thing for girls who may at some point be faced with trying to survive in a hostile environment with only two sticks to rub together. The second added advantage is that the name will appeal to pyromaniacs and arsonists who will, no doubt, feel their offspring will be given a really warm welcome by the group.

After finding such a splendid new name, I’m left wondering if the trend should be continued. Perhaps we could encourage the development of new names for the next three age groups – something as hot as Sparks and Embers. My suggestion for the line-up would be: Sparks, Embers, Flames, Wildfires and Conflagrations. I can already see corporate backing spring up for the Flames – trading in those old fashioned walking staves for shiny new hocky sticks… and perhaps the U.S. Forest Service would loan Smokey the Bear to all five groups for their mascot.

My only problem is what to call that quasi-cake I just put into the oven. Do I follow the trend and stop calling them brownies? And if I start calling it embers, when do I pull it out of the oven? If I remove it before it’s turned to charcol, will it be considered half-baked?

TL:DR – Move over Shakespeare – them thar roses have no smell.


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