So Monchichi comes home today with a giant envelope from school.  Inside is a four-inch-thick catalog of things they are forcing my child to peddle in order to earn his school some more money. 

Believe me.  I am not blind to the fact that when his teacher wants to make copies she has to count out the exact number of pages she is going to use and then mark them down on some ominous-looking recording sheet that gets sent to the Governor who makes sure that she is not on some Xerox high and adding to the billions of dollars that California already owes to…..everyone.  So far the lights are still on at his school and the toilets flush, but it could all be taken away at any second.

I get it.

But I also think that back in the early 1900’s some child labor laws were passed and I’m pretty sure that First Grade Salesmen fall into that category.  I could be way off base here folks but all of a sudden it smells like a white collar sweatshop around here. 

So I am flipping through this very GIANT and very HEAVY catalog and notice the page with the prize list.    For every $50 dollars in sales, your child qualifies for a flourecent eraser.  If he meets the $150 mark, he  can join the “Hamster Rumble Party”where he’ll have fun racing a hamster in the rumble.” 

What. The. Hell.

And the top two sellers will have lunch with the Principal.
When did having lunch with the lady that makes up all the stupid school rules become a prize? 


Now the pressure is on.  Because if Monchichi doesn’t sell anything, he won’t get that coveted eraser or, more importantly, be able to race rodents in the rumble.  And I don’t want him to miss out on something that….bizarre.  So of course, guess who’s going to be marching up and down her neighborhood and accosting co-workers and standing on the corner of East Chapman and Prospect and soliciting churches and soup kitchens (hey…the homeless could definatley use the Glow in the Dark Set of 15 Bracelets for $7.00. Better than that beer you know they were gonna buy ). 

Plus it brings up traumatic memories of never meeting the Roller Skating Party quota that I aimed for each year during my own wrapping paper fundraising career.  I was always several hundred short and came home with some lame keychain that boasted our mascot in what now seems to be a precarious position while my friends giggled as they got on the yellow bus that took them to pre-adolescent paradise. 


I thought I was over that.

Which just goes to shows you how dangerous and life-altering these fundraisers can be if your child is a loser and doesn’t make enough money for his school.  Don’t you remember the assemblies filled with loud thumping music designed to get your adrenaline pumping so that you would go home and scare the old ladies in your neighborhood into buying that millionth roll of gold embossed poinsetta wrapping paper? Where the Fundraising People, dressed in matching red polo shirts screamed chants into the microphone in typical suicide-cult fashion?  Don’t you recall the heart-thumping, panic-attack inducing, door-to-door ales pitches that left you feeling winded and vulnerable and desperate for a snickers bar or two?  Have you forgotten the ego bruising and demoralization that comes with not being able to close a sale? 


Do you want to put Monchichi through that?  Do you want that on your shoulders? Because I sure don’t.
Which is why I am passing the responsibility onto you and unabashadly using my blog to advertise items such as:

The Smiley Flower Hat $12.00
“You don’t get any happier than this great new hat!  Not only is the hat itself cool, it’s got a bendable smile flower on top that you can pose into any position!”


The Guy’s Tag Necklace $10.00
“Masculine style at its best!  The rectangle shaped pendant is embossed and strung on a brown cord.”

Email me right away and have your credit card number ready.  You’ll be giving my oldest son a chance to abuse a hamster for a day. 

 And that would almost make up for missing the Roller Skating Party of ’89.


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2 Replies to “Sell 17 Items. Or Else.”

  1. I like the new look (which probably isn't as new as i think, slacker that I am.)

    I wish I lived on your block so I could help the Hamster cause. But no wait a minute, I did enjoy my tax refund, so maybe I better stay put.

  2. omg. My first grader? They are selling candy bars. Ok fine, whatever.
    BUT if each classes students sell 3 boxes of candy bars they are then able to race in, not a Hamster Rumble, but a PIG RACE.
    We live in the freakin city not in the country…where in the heck are they going to RACE PIGS?!
    WHen have school fundraisers become this bizarre? Seriously.
    And good luck with yours! You can bet your booty we're going to sell our 3 boxes so Isaiah can take part in his…pig race.

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