It's that time of year again when the reality of having kids enrolled at a private Catholic school comes home in a big envelope. It's the annual magazine drive. A slick sales representative patiently explains the ins and outs of peddling magazines at an all school assembly. Then the magazine guy talks about the best part...those tantalizing prize incentives including such can't-live-withouts like a gas pump that dispenses beverages and a monkey alarm clock that you apparently have to throw against a wall to shut off (I kid you not). While I'm rolling my eyes at the majority of these kid gimmicks, I do appreciate that we're selling magazines rather than overpriced gift wrap. I can vividly recall my grade school sale days some 25 plus years ago. Let's face it, the magazine drive is exciting for a kid. We didn't have quite as many fancy prizes back then, but I do recall the little stuffed animals. You would be awarded one animal for every Catholic Digest subscription sold. The challenge was finding a faithful Catholic Digest subscriber. I remember the neighbor kids and I literally running to get to a little old lady named Marie first. She would always buy Catholic Digest and therefore was a big score. The poor lady must have chuckled to see four out-of-breath kids scrambling from the bus stop to her house on the first day of the sale. Reader's Digest was good for a candy bar per subscription and was a far easier magazine to sell, but the stuffed pets were more coveted. I guess we know which magazines ruled the sale way back then.
Several years ago my eldest child brought her magazine kit home. I'll have to say I was shocked to see the order forms. The 3 part forms--white copy publisher, yellow copy school and pink copy customer--were almost identical to what I used 25 years ago. A design that has remained consistent for 25 years?! How did magazine drive forms manage to avoid the improvement of time when since then we've seen computers, compact discs, cellular telephones, the internet and remote control? Was the magazine form designed so well from the very start that there was simply nothing that could be done better? My congrats to whoever first designed this genius form. Admittedly you can order mags online now, but my kids don't trust that they'll receive proper sales credit so we're still using paper. The real test will be if my grandchildren come calling with the old three-parted forms.
Speaking of magazines, here's my monthly stash. Unfortunately, I can't buy Cloth Paper Scissors or ReadyMade through the school sale. I really have to hold myself back to keep my subscriptions down to a readable number. To be quite honest, poor Cooking Light is not getting much of a look these days.
Sooooo.....anybody want to buy a magazine? : )