Thursday, February 3, 2011
Let's Make a (Chocolate) Deal...
Did you ever participate in candy fundraisers when you were in school? I did. Lots of them. I used to sell shit for French club, Beta Club, band...you name it. The experience was rather enjoyable. Somehow, selling candy gave me delusions of grandeur.
You see, I had a big box loaded with chocolate bars known as "World's Finest". Perhaps you've heard of them...I mean, they were the world's finest...They looked liked a segmented turd loaded with nuts...all packaged neatly in foil. Oh, and the white paper wrapping usually had a coupon for Burger King or McDonalds...You know, in case you didn't get a case of the shits from eating a pound of chocolate at one sitting. All yours for a buck. Cash only please.
In any case, I'd walk around with my box of chocolate bars all day, every day for 2 weeks or so. I acted as though carrying a motherload of chocolate wasn't really a big deal, but it was. Back in the day, there weren't candy vending machines in school. And by the time 2 o'clock rolled around, the waft of sweet smelling goodness eminating from my box of World's Finest began to get the best of my fellow classmates' self control.
I became a confection dealer. Wadded up dollar bills were passed under desks with notes that read, "Pass the bar when you think it's safe.." Meaning, while the teacher's back was to the class. Given that I was pretty shy, this act of chocolate dealing deception also made me feel pretty rad. I think we said that in the 80's. In modern lexicon..."Gangsta" if you will.
I was pretty business savvy too. Some of my fellow chocolate dealing friends were tight asses on their payment policy. Chocolate was doled out once they received cold hard cash. I offered financing options. Chocolate today for a percentage of lunch money tomorrow. Only have 50 cents on you? Let's talk. Maybe we can strike a deal. I mean, not everyone can plan for these things, right?
Selling chocolate also gave me some leverage on the home front. I had five younger brothers and sisters all of whose eyes lit up when I came marching through the front door with a ton of chocolate. I wasn't as interested in whether they had cash as much as wanting them to do stuff for me. I'd say to my sister as she sat salivating, staring, "Sorry you don't have money...How about you make my bed for a week?" She'd agree. Or to my brother, "I'll give you a bar, but you're on dish duty. And don't even try to fake needing to use the bathroom during kitchen clean up...I'll tell mom about our deal." And so I lived on Easy Street...no chores, threats to air their dirty laundry. For two weeks, life was good.
The only time I was hard nosed about payment was with my parents. My mom would ask for a chocolate loan floater, and I'd refuse citing fundraising rules requiring payment at the time of sale. She never bent the rules for me. It was fun returning the favor.
Let's not forget I enjoyed chocolately goodness too. I'd snack on a bar...Stash one away. Yeah, good stuff...
And somehow, after all this transaction activity, I managed to come up short on cash. Not a problem. I'd go tell my mom I needed the difference due to a younger sibling sneaking into my inventory. She'd grumble about what a pain in the ass fundraisers were, but would dig in her purse for a 5 spot.
Boy, was I a dumbass. Feeling like "hot stuff" from selling crappy candy....I'm done here.