During this frabjous time of year, school supplies are incessantly beckoning to be picked up for the children’s usage.  Armed with a list so long not even Santa would bother reading it, I strode into the store with supreme confidence that I would find wonderful schoolish things for my children.  I also felt assured that this jaunt for abacuses, slate boards, and perhaps a protractor or two would cost me mere pence.  What fun!

Alas, this was not to be.  Ye gods!  Who knew that the accumulated paper, glue, and erasers would result in a bill that was tantamount to a mortgage payment…if I had bought the Taj Mahal…covered it in platinum…and stuck an Olive Garden in it?

Oh, I’m sure that these vital supplies will get pulled out once in a while. But everything listed here will be used all the time?  I say thee nay!  So after a post-shopping, late night car ride that I spent talking to myself, here’s what I and my team of me determined to be truly necessary school supplies. I and me also decided which supplies were just filler, regardless of highfalutin curriculums and overthought lesson plans.

An electronic abacus exists. Were they sold alongside gas-powered solar panels?
  • Pencils, pens – Okay fine, you got me there.  Kids do use them. However, why #2 pencils?  After all, number two is just first place for losers, man!  So I decided to go above and beyond, upgrading the supply list by getting #1 pencils instead.  My kids deserve only the best!      
  • Notebooks, folders – As these are also needed, I got some nifty folders with various characters on them that my brood will enjoy beyond repair!  I will have to explain to them exactly why a Madballs folder is cool.  Obviously because they go with their awesome Sectaurs notebooks and M.U.S.C.L.E. Trapper Keeper!
So lemme get this straight: Coy and Vance got a Trapper Keeper?!
  • Erasers – Why three big pink big erasers?  What tome are you writing that requires such enormous changes of thought, L’il Dostoyevsky? Aren’t students supposed to be making fewer mistakes as they advance in their education? Instead, children can now infer: “You’re going to try to scrub mistakes off your paper like the stain of original sin.  Like that eraser smell?  That’s the smell of failure, kids!  MWAH-HAHAHAHAH!!
  • Tissues – Hey, I’m no Flintheart Glomgold so if I am required to supply to my kids with their own booger removal sheets, I have no issue.  But why am I the dispensary for everyone in the room as well?  They aren’t even my kids, as far as I’m aware.  It’s bad enough having to abscond with boxes of tissues that I secreted away from various unlocked custodial closets in the first place, but now you expect me to share too?!  Ridiculous!
Share?! These be my tissues!
  • Hand sanitizer – COVID, SCHMOVID! Somehow my generation made it through the grimy 1980s and grungy 1990s without having to resort to using gallons of OSHA-approved clear ectoplasm that pretends to kill germs.  We only had bar soap, wishes, and the thought that our saliva heals a papercut finger.  And yet, we lived.  (For further reading, see my doctoral thesis: You’re Still an Intergalactic Dork if You Wear a Bike Helmet as a cross reference.)
  • Highlighters – Why would a third grade child need multiple different colors to illuminate items in a book?  It’s Superfudge, not Grey’s Anatomy.  If their copious notes require a rainbow of neon choices, then why not also include adhesive page tabs, Post-It notes, and signal flares?  No, one Nuclear Yellow highlighter should suffice quite nicely.
Whoa! Get all seven highlighters! This one’s gonna be a doozy!
  • Crayons – No problems here.  If Crayola came out with a 375 color assortment, I’d snag it in a heartbeat.  “Oh look honey, they have not only ‘burnt umber’, but also ‘raw umber’, ‘plain umber’, ‘medium well umber’, and ‘umber in the wild’!  Whoooo!!!”  
  • Colored Pencils – While I’m for sophisticated coloring, one teacher requires a set that includes a black pencil and a white one too.  Can’t regular pencils go from shades of grey to dark black without issue?  It figures that the white colored pencil only comes in the pricier 24-pack of pencils, not the 12.  Are the kids going to be coloring nothing but polar bears attacking the 2020 Democrat presidential hopefuls in a snowstorm to justify using that much white?!  Come this June that pencil better be worn to beyond a nub is alls I’m saying.
  • Scissors – Back in my day, when the prairie schooners crisscrossed this great land, the old Hills Bros coffee tins that were filled with rusty scissors were good enough.  Apparently kids nowadays are simply too good for tetanus.  Sad, really.
Oh, there’s the scissors!
  • Glue bottles, glue sticks – Does the typical school year demand this much adhesion?  If I combined the copious bottles of Elmer’s with the incredible volume of glue sticks that I retrieved, I could not only seal up the Titanic but also get it back up for transatlantic service tout suite.  Then again, the children might be plowing through the glue by making yards of fake skin, which I wholeheartedly endorse and encourage.
My kids love the new glue stick applicator I bought them!
  • Gym shoes – My kids don’t wear stilettos, Dingo boots, crampons, or wingtips, so the precious and holy gym floor can sleep easily. Besides it would take something like a high schooler plowing an office chair that had lost one of its casters right into the hardwood to even make a sizeable gouge…not that I can speak from accidental experience or anything.  Ahem. 
  • 5 oz. Dixie cups – Oh no, you don’t!  Uh-uh.  I see what you’re doing there.  This is just like the tissues and hand sanitizer, isn’t it?!  And now I have to also supply drinking cups/urine specimen containers for the classroom too?  Hm.  Well, I showed them all right: I got the 3 oz. Dixie cups!!  Hah!  Deal with that!

So with a full cart and an empty wallet, I realized that I had only spent about a quarter of the total income I would ever earn in my lifetime just to make sure that my children could enjoy nine erasers across three different classrooms. Think I’ll go over to the school parking lot and burn all the white colored pencils that I secretly liberated from the store shelves.  Then my daughter can charge the other kids rent to use her now-exclusive pencil. 

This might just pay for itself after all! 

Published by benjaminawink

Being at best a lackadaisical procrastinator, this is purely an exercise in maintaining a writing habit for yours truly. This will obviously lead to the lucrative and inevitable book/movie/infomercial deal. I promise to never engage in hyperbole about my blog, which will be the greatest blog mankind has ever known since blogs started back in 1543. I won't promise anything other than a few laughs, a few tears, and maybe, just maybe, a few lessons about how to make smokehouse barbecue in your backyard.

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  1. Ha! Oooh the electric abacus! Fancy stuff!
    With three kids also, I feel that big bill, though our list is short- school has started having us pay a flat fee and buys crayons etc in bulk. Is it sad that I miss getting to get fresh crayon boxes? Maybe I’ll get one for me…


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