Summer is two-thirds over, yet the retailers are already vying for who can get school supplies out the earliest. Much like X-Ma$$, the early bird gets the dollar. Around here it’s Walmart that consistently wins out. Lowes always gets my “greedy bastards” award for having Jewish-Zombie Celebration items out first in town, usually by the first of September. But when it comes to school supplies, Wal-Mart wins out.
The bright orange displays with the pencils and notebooks have been hauled out of storage and assembled, and the little flyers from schools set out.
One box of gallon ziplock bags. What the hell are they doing? It’s fifth grade. Are there that many soiled clothes to be sent home? What do they intend to collect, crime scene evidence?
3 packs of disinfecting wipes. 3 packs times thirty kids. That comes to ninety packs of wipes, and if there are 20 wipes in a pack, thats 1800 wipes. There are 180 school days. How dirty can they get that they need to run through 10 wipes a DAY? Are they doing surgery in class? Are kids just coming to school dirty and giving themselves sponge baths in the restrooms?
1 Roll of paper towels. I’ll give them that. If you’ve ever used the brown institutional paper towels at a school or government building, you’d want something different, too.
1 Pack of Copy Paper? This one chaps my ass. Copy Paper? Seriously? I have half a mind to buy a pack of paper, type my child’s name up in the corner in 6 point type, and run 499 more copies. Next year I’m ordering paper with a watermark. “This is Kaylee’s Paper. If found, please call…”
Box of Kleenex. Self explanatory. Obviously the kids are very sick all the time and need to blow their nose constantly, what with the need for 1800 wipes.
One pack of dry erase markers. Personally I think the school needs to supply this. My mother never had to send chalk, back when I was a kid. Pencils and notebooks, yes, but never a box of chalk. She even specifies “fine point”. Im going to find the fattest, lightest pastel colors I can. Light green and lavender… I know they make them, I’ve seen them.
Highlighters… I get that. Everyone highlights everything.
The rest of the stuff seems normal, with the exception of some specific items. Mechanical pencils? Really? When I was in school I had these really nice Pentel mechanical pencils that my father would bring home from work. They were costly then, although now they have the same things pretty cheap. They didn’t like you using them in school. I don’t know why, they wrote fine and you didn’t have to get up and grind the pencil away on that ancient gunmetal grey sharpener on the wall. Now they have to have them. Weird.
And a click eraser? What happened to the good old pink rubber thing? It has to click? We have to involve mechanical engineering in our erasing?
Colored pencils? What are they doing? Art? “You will need them for all subjects”. They are going to be doing algebra in Chartreuse? I don’t understand it, but I’ll go with it.
Glue sticks. Every teacher wants glue sticks. I suspect there are warehouses full of glue sticks left unclaimed by teachers at the end of the year. They are probably sold to discount stores like walmart… In fact, I strongly suspect that no new glue sticks have been manufactured since 2003, they all just keep getting passed around.