Where the wrapping paper and the cookie dough play


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Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2012, 2:27 pm
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By Tracy Beckerman
Every year when the days begin to grow shorter and the temperature slowly starts to drop, I know there are two things I can always count on: the changing colors of the leaves … and the back to school fundraiser.

I always look forward to the breathtaking hues of the fall foliage. The annual school fundraiser? Not so much. It's not that I don't want my kids to roll up their sleeves and learn how to harangue friends and family to buy things they don't need. I think guilting money out of those you love is a skill not to be overlooked. Plus, the money raised always goes to a good cause, such as new computers for the classroom, or smart boards, or a new rug for the kindergarten class because the old one got peed on too many times.

The issue is, they do the same fundraisers every year. I'm not sure who decided that wrapping paper, cookie dough and candles were in such high demand that they should be sold again and again every November.

Additionally, with every kid in the school doing the same thing, there is literally no one you know who is willing to buy your wrapping paper except you and your extended family.This means that in order to support your kid and his school, you will likely end up with 36 rolls of wrapping paper in your closet, enough frozen cookie dough to last into the next millennium, and so many scented candles you could illuminate your house for a year, as well as every house in your neighborhood, and quite possibly, the world.

… And then you have to convince your family to do the same thing.

Naturally, my kids usually give up after five minutes of trying to unload the stuff, so inevitably, the chore goes to me.

This year, the first call went to my mother.

"The kids are doing a fundraiser for school," I said reluctantly.

"What am I buying this year?" she sighed.

"Wrapping paper."

"I still have wrapping paper left over from two years ago," she said.

"But it's better this year," I enthused. "It's, um, wrappier."

"I just don't have that many things to wrap," she admitted.

I thought for a minute. "You can wrap dad."

"OK, put me down for two rolls."

The next call went to my brother.

"The kids are doing a fundraiser for school," I said.

"Are they selling cookie dough?" he asked hopefully.

"Nope. Wrapping paper."

"Oh. Too bad."

"Would you buy some?" I begged.

"I defer to my wife. She handles all the solicitations and shakedowns."

So then my third call went to my sister-in-law.

"The kids are doing a fundraiser for school," I said.

"So are mine," she countered. "What are you selling?"

"Wrapping paper," I said. "Would you buy a couple of rolls?"

"I'll see you your wrapping paper and raise you a gallon of cookie dough," she replied.

"I still have my own cookie dough leftover from our fundraiser last year," I sighed.

"Well I've got two dozen rolls of wrapping paper and nuthin' to wrap," she replied.

Silence. The clock ticked as we weighed our options.

"Tell you what," I said. "If you buy two rolls of regular wrapping paper, I'll throw in a Christmas roll free of charge."

"OK, but you still have to buy my cookie dough," she demanded.

"You've got a deal."

"Great," she responded. We chatted for a bit and then I happened to glance at the calendar.

"Hey, I just remembered you have a b-day coming up. What would you like?"

"I don't know," she said.

"How about some scented candles?"

















 



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  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








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