Saturday, September 16, 2006
It's that time at school once again. The magazine drive is here. We only have one fundraiser at school all year long, and this is it. A few days ago we had the assembly where the incredibly-charming-yet-oily salesman made his pitch and showed off the FABULOUS prizes kids could earn if they sell enough magazine subscriptions. This is one loud assembly because the kids are allowed to show their enthusiasm for the prizes as they are announced. You are pretty close to deaf by the time it is over, but it does give you the chance to find out (based on noise level) which are the most exciting prizes. I do have to say that salesman guy does know his stuff. The kids are warm towards a box of caramel apple pops. They are yelling and clapping about a tiny refrigerator that cools six cans of soda. They are yelling and screaming over a stuffed hamster that sings "Kung fu Fighting" and wiggles to the tune. They are screaming and jumping out of their seats for, get this, a tiny version of an office water cooler. Yes, that's it, the kind that goes "glub, glub" when you fill the little paper cup. There is no sense behind the things they want. A cheap plastic bouncy ball that probably costs the magazine company less than a dime is worth major scrambling when thrown into the crowd of kids. At least they had the good sense to ohh and ahhh over one of the top prizes, and X-box 360 with several games. I hate watching (and listening) to their naked greed, but you can't blame them too much because the whole process is designed to capitalize on just those urges. I guess I should be happy that they earn money (A LOT of money usually about $90,000) for school activities such as clubs, sports, equipment, and so on, but it still is not my most favorite part of the school year. Next time I need to remember to borrow a pair of the good noise-canceling headphones from woodshop.