Actually, both of them are winning one. Yep.
They came home from school and announced it just this past Monday.
They ran into the house and each dropped a 4-inch thick packet of paperwork on the kitchen table.
“Mom! We’re going to win iPads!”
“Yeah? How are you going to manage to do that?”
“We’re selling stuff for the school!”
I now could identify the contents of the paperweights they had just dropped on the table. I also knew that had not yet come off their giant high from a church revival meeting, I mean fundraising assembly.
For those of you who have not yet had the experience of school fundraising, you’re in for a real treat. It goes something like this:
Kids go to a school assembly where a really charismatic, funny and probably-a-little-slimy person stands up and literally turns 1,000 grade schoolers into a cult. A cult that blindly believes whatever it is told, without regard for the practicalities of what they are being asked to do.
Instead of eternal salvation, though, your kids have their eyes on a different prize: the iPad.
They see their cult leader holding that iPad, all shiny and glossy and slick, and they lose all reason. Immediately their minds wander off to AppStore heaven.
They don’t actually hear what it’s going to take to WIN said iPad. They just want it, and they want it now, and their cult leader makes it oh-so-simple for them to win it! It’s EASY!
Just shill 200 items from the Catalog of Crap by annoying every family member from here to Romania. We don’t care if you haven’t spoken to them in 7 years. Hell, we don’t care if they speak English. When you’ve squeezed every last dime out of family, hit up Mommy and Daddy’s co-workers! And then, hit up your neighbors, even though they have kids selling the same crap. But don’t go door to door. That’s not allowed.
Kids have it so easy these days. I had to shill Kathryn Beich candy bars in 20-degree temperatures in Chicago going door to door.
But wait! Now we can also harness the power of social media to shill! Set up online ordering! Email everyone you know, even that really snotty lady at your yoga class! Tweet it out! Post it on Facebook!
Because not only is an iPad at stake. But there are prizes AT EVERY LEVEL OF SALES, people. And these prizes, while seemingly craptastic to a sane adult, are kiddie crack.
Light up shoelaces. Chill collapsible water bottle. A UFO Light up top. This is serious shizz to a kid, man. Little CEO is eyeing the Bladeless Fan and the Thirst Extinguisher glass. Boy Wonder wants the retro headphones. Hello? I probably have REAL retro headphones somewhere around here.
But why give him legit headphones when I can send him on the futile task of selling 50 items of crap to actually EARN the headphones?
I’d much rather pay him to pick up dog poo for several weeks and he can buy his own headphones.
But wait! Says the cult leader. We are selling some really fabulous things. This is not lame candy bars. Just check out the catalog!
Only this year, we don’t have just one catalog. We have five.
I am not kidding.
My kids have more products to sell than WalMart does.
We have the Nut and Snack Catalog, where peeps can buy a tiny can of nuts or trail mix that is the same price as a 25 pound bag of the stuff at Costco.
We have the National Savings Card, which provides discounts to all sorts of offers EVERY DAY ALL YEAR!!!!!
We have the Paula Deen Cookie Dough catalog. Something tells me her diabetes physician is not overly pleased.
We have the ULTIMATE GIFT CARD! Which you can redeem for over 650 popular items like, well, the cookie dough and national savings card that you can buy from the other catalog.
And then there’s the Big Boy: FaLaLa catalog. You want a pecan log roll? $11.50. A mouse pad? $13.50. A chili pepper recipe towel? 12 bucks. You want a $9 roll of wrapping paper. We got it. I know you’ve been wanting a Bollywood gift bag set, a ruffled denim apron, cubic zirconia solitaire earrings, and a subscription to AARP magazine. And BE STILL MY HEART, Kathryn Beich chocolates. Old school, baby!
So when your kid’s finished selling every possible thing no person actually needs to your entire freaking offline and online network, he still won’t have won the iPad and the Bladeless Fan he did win will get caught in his hair and rip half of it out on one side…right before Picture Day.
Happy selling, people.