Back To Sale (oops I mean School)

You all know the song so sing along

School Daze

School Daze

Dear old Golden Rule days

(more like Time to break some rules days)

Oops. Sorry, I interrupted the song. Don’t mind me. Keep going.

Readin’ and ritein’ and ‘rithmatic

Okay, I’ve got to stop this again. How can the most beloved song about school have a hook with three misspelled words? Perhaps they need to rethink their curriculum. Ya’ Think. Then again, the song goes on to talk about beating kids with a hickory stick, and killing calico cats for their fur. You know the line. You were my queen in calico. And don’t even get me started about the barefoot kids.

All right, I guess this probably wasn’t the best way to introduce the fact it’s ‘Back-To-School’ time once again. Time for mothers to cry over the fact that their children are growing up, and fathers to cry about tuition. (or vice-versa depends on the family) But the big reason to celebrate ‘Back-To-School’ time are the sales. Let’s hear it for buying stuff.

If there is anything good about going back to school. It’s the fact you can do it at a discount. In fact, seventeen states offer days with no tax on ‘Back-To-School’ items. So, you get low prices and pay no sales tax. I mean just get out your wallet and go.

The thing is, They’ve taken the whole thing a bit too far. You know the They I’m talking about. Those marketing gurus who are specialists at making us all buy stuff we don’t need. I can hear you all thinking, “Wait a minute!” (Wow, That must be loud if I can hear it when you only think it.)  All right. Before start for my house with torches and pitchforks, you’re right. There is a lot of stuff you need to buy for school. There’s stuff like pencils, pens and books. And there’s an argument for clothes and calculators. I’ll even agree to things like lizards and hamsters. But cars and big screen TVs are not Back to school Items.

Again. I here you screaming. “Cars could be needed for Back to school.” Possibly, but there isn’t any need for the sale. Even though there always is one. Cars are always on sale. Remember in June there was the Father’s Day sale right after was The Summer Sale, then The Forth Of July Sale followed by The Really Hot Sale, The Dog Days Sale The Hotter That Hot Sale, The Super-Hot sale, and the ever popular I Wish Something Would Happen So I Could Name This Sale Better Sale Then to the relief of marketers everywhere, summer ends and they announce the Back To School Sale. Simply put, car dealerships don’t care about where your kids are going. They just need to name their current sale. Which, interestingly enough is exactly the same sale as the one that just ended.  Actually, I am in favor of The Everything Is On Sale Forever Sale. Marketers love this one because they can use another of their favorite lines, “Hurry in now!!!!! This sale could end at any time!!!!!” I don’t know why, but this line strikes fear into the hearts of mankind everywhere, and folks rush in. Don’t people understand the meaning of the word Forever?

Then electronics stores jump on the bandwagon. I’m sorry, no one in a dorm room needs a 75-inch television. I have seen supply lists for my kids and it never reads:




Wireless Router

Washing Machine

and Surround Sound System

Yet every year these things featured in a Back To School sale. Look it up. The ads are right in front of you, clogging your mailbox and spamming your computer. Back To School sales should be for back-to-school items. That’s all I’m saying.

The worst offense of this, I found in my local free press. A nearby surgeon was offering low-cost back-to-school breast enhancement. How in the heck, (sorry for swearing), could anyone think this could be a back-to-school item? If this had been on my daughter’s supply list I would have burned it, changed schools, moved out of the state, and become a monk. What are people thinking? I mean I understand the drama and peer pressure of school. But…

It might be something for college. But that’s when kids are broker than they will ever be in their lives. Can you imagine the bank or government student loan that covers tuition, books, lodging, make-up, and enhancement surgery? Might as well include beer while you’re at it. It gives a whole new meaning to the words Party School. Okay, I think that rant is over.

Those other things may be bad, but the award for the most stupid Back-to-school sale goes to grocery stores. Yes, food is a necessity for school but it’s also needed for every other minute you’re alive. And look at the circular, most of the stuff is perishable. Meat, celery, cream cheese, and fresh cilantro never show up on supply lists. “Hey dad, did you put those raw steaks in my backpack? I might get hungry in the bus.” No one has ever said this. Also, if your children are anything like mine, they’re not going to eat anything healthy anyway. And remember apples ripen in the fall. That’s just a fact. This price is not falling as a courtesy to teachers, who want to keep doctors away. These are in the ad because stores have a lot of them, end of story.  There is absolutely no need to call every week of August’s coupons a ‘Back-to-school’ sale. But they do. I even saw end-of-season barbeque grills in the ad. I’d like to see a kid put one of those in that thin little locker schools have.

The thing is I agree with states, and stores, helping with the expense of starting another school term. What I don’t like is advertisers taking advantage of it. Somebody needs to speak up. Marketing folks have a tendency to over inflate things. I mean you all have seen that Halloween hits the stores in July, and ends in August. Two full months before the event, so they can put up Christmas decorations in September. Imagine the Back-To School sale starting in May. Not only would it be extremely depressing for kids who haven’t left school yet, but it would probably include even more non-school items like bikinis and sandals. Oh wait, marketers stop selling those things in February.

If you have comments, want to discuss the intrinsic value of pens vs pencils, or have me take a sideways view at your favorite topic. Send me an E-Mail at I’d love to hear from you!


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