Monday, June 13, 2011

Curb Appeal

And if you don't believe me, just ask me.

You know, it's not easy being the person who's always two steps ahead of the herd. The person who spots innovation from miles away - before it's recognized by mainstream society - and embraces it.

The person who was into the Macarena before you could rent Macarena instructional videos at Blockbuster.


The person who was wearing those plastic sunglasses that look like mini-blinds back when everyone else was doing the Mary-Kate and Ashley bag lady look.

Nope, it's not easy being the one out on the frontier. The ice-cutter.

I know. Because I am that person.


Take last week, for instance.

It was time for Morticia's class to work the drop-off line at school - a dangerous, high-stress job that includes setting out orange cones in a straight line, opening a seemingly endless stream of children's car doors and making small talk with parents (most of them sketchy strangers whom I suspect are listed on some kind of national law enforcement registry) all while making sure not to step off the curb at the wrong time and end up splayed across the hood of someone's Prius blasting through the cones at a silent 5 m.p.h.

We made it through Monday, Morticia and I. From snippy parents to entitled children, it was quite the social odyssey.

Let's just say lessons were learned.

We returned Tuesday morning more seasoned, more
prepared. Wiser, if you will.

Things were going along just fine until Ms. Wingo, Assistant to the Vice Principal, approach
ed and pulled me aside.

"Hi." She adjusted her bright orange vest and captain's hat that I recognized from last year's middle-school production of "South Pacific." "We're getting complaints."

"Really? What kinds of complaints?" I shifted fro
m foot to foot, anxious to get back in the line before I lost my door-opening rhythm.

"Is that your sign down there?"


"Where?"

"Down at the entrance to the drop-off line." She pointed to the end of the line of cars. "The poster board clipped onto the preschool art ease
l."

"Hmmm..." I squinted into the distance.


Ms. Wingo huffed with impatience. "The sign that says 'Drop-Off $3 per car - Tips Appreciated'?"

"Oh, right. Yup, that's mine."


"Yeah, you can't do that." She crossed her arms.

"I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm keeping the money. Well, I'm not. Okay, except for the tips. After Morticia's take, the other 90% is mine, fair and square."

"What?" Ms. Wingo looked startled.

"The money is for the school! Fundraising!"


"You're kidding, right?"


"Listen, we've got a bird's nest on the ground here. Have you seen these parents? They're desperate. They'll pay anything to get these kids out of their cars."


"All right, that's enough. You're going to have to take that sign down right now."

"Come on, everywhere I turn, I hear people
fretting about school fundraising. Auction this, raffle ticket that. Are you going to overlook the gold mine that's right at your curb?"

"Wait a minute." A look of recognition swept across Ms. Wingo's face. "You're the one who put a note in the suggestion box saying we should install pay toilets in the student bathrooms, aren't you?"

"Um, you're welcome. Someone had to step up and explain the concept of supply and demand."

"That's it."
She turned and walked toward the front of the drop-off line. "I'm taking down that sign."

"Ignore the forces of the free marketplace at your peril, Ms. Wingo!," I shouted after her. "And, by the way, I'll just be keeping my ideas for turning the nurse's office into a money-making machine to
myself!"


This post is dedicated to our local elementary school, which we will be leaving next week when Gomez culminates and moves on to middle school. Thank you for a wonderful grade-school experience and have a bitchin' summer!


150 comments:

Heinous said...

Some people just can't stand innovators.

The Panic Room said...

Pay toilets. That is the new wave. That would bring in more money for education then the lottery.

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

Authority is always trying to keep the geniuses down.

mommaof4wife2r said...

seriously cracking up here!

Belle said...

What is wrong with Mrs WINGO? Issues or what?

AngiDe- Nana's Box said...

Hey Anna!
congrat's on your SITS feature!!

Angie
"Nana's Box"

Tessa said...

to funny, congrats on being featured, make sure you come check out my blog i am having a giveaway

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Totally a riot! Laughing here on this side of the computer screen this morning... good thing I already slurped up my cup of coffee or I'd be spitting it out while reading this.... lmao

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Tessa said...

to funny, congrats on being featured, make sure you come check out my blog i am having a giveaway

Monica said...

Hi! Came over from SITS!!! This is hilarious!! I love the coin operated toilets!! My dad once paid 500 pesos to use some guys toilet in Mexico. Then on his way out was offered every drug under the sun!!! Nice blog!

The Cookie Girl said...

Mrs. Wingo needs a chill pill. I have those for $2 each. All proceeds go towards the "Get out of Dodge" fund. A group for parents who never get a break.

Love your blog. just started following.

Beth Kephart said...

Lefler.

I told you not to worry about your school's finances. That I was going to pitch in with my own cookie bake sale over here on the storied Main Line and send you the $5.75 I raise (net profits, I'm talking, not gross). I know you are gorgeous and everything, but sometimes you've just got to let the pros like me come in and get the job done.

((((((((thank you, sincerely now, for your plug. You didn't have to. You never do.))))))))))

ZenMom said...

Hey, Happy SITS Day. Now that you are in such high demand, you're not gonna make me pay to come visit your blog, today, are you? :)

I bet Ms. Wingo isn't so righteous when it comes time to hawk the overpriced candy and cookies and wrapping paper, eh?

Durn educators are always the last to think outside the cookie dough.

Lynn said...

You gotta do something to make a buck in this down economy...brava to you! After you left, she probably put the sign back up and pocketed the dough...happy sits day.

My best, Lynn
www.safebeauty.blogspot.com

Cherie said...

Oh my gosh that just might be the most hilarious thing I have ever read!

Kaylee said...

You seriously CRACK me up! Congrats for being featured!

Carla said...

Hey funny lady! Congrats on the SITS featured blogger!!!

Sheryl said...

What a great idea. It's cheaper then a babysitter.
Congrats

dddiva said...

Congrats on your SITS feature- enjoy your time in the spotlight.

angi_b72 said...

Happy SITS day!!!

Reeni♥ said...

Came to say hi from SITS. Enjoy your day of being saucy!!! Funny post. Great ideas!

Ann's Rants said...

Orange vests and south pacific made me LOL--a real one. Its no wonder that thousands come here to hear your gospel. AMEN, SISTER!

jennifersusan said...

Happy SITS Day!
Wow, I am so glad that my school has not yet caught on to the gold mine that is the drop-off line. I would have some serious frostbite from hiking to the school to get out of paying the fee. Actually my school is so not past having pay toilets or charging for the nurse's office. Maybe they could just charge the multiple offenders?? oh wait, that'd be my kids too! darnit!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

I'm over from SITS! And I'm lovin' your blog! Try private school, $100 for prime parking at football games!! Somebody must have read your blog!

Mommy said...

Hilarious! As someone who has to park her car, get her preschooler AND her toddler out of their car seats, walk them into the school, drop off her preschooler in the correct classroom, haul the tantrumming toddler back to the car and then get her safely strapped into her car seat while arms and legs are flying...well let's just say $3/day to avoid that would be money well spent!

Marinka said...

They don't deserve you. Bastards.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Bunch of socialists--those school people!

mydogumentary said...

Happy SITS day! Congrats on being featured!! Hope you have a good one!

Coffee with Cathy said...

A prophet is never honored in her own land -- why didn't I think of those things when I was doing elementary-school duty??? I think you need to run for PTO fundraising chair.

CDB said...

NICE. What a classy joint. I have to walk my toddler into our preschool MYSELF. What a joke. I'm going to complain and demand that we have a paid drop off option.

Hope with all the tip money, you bought the crossed-arms lady some sense of humor.

Jennifer said...

Happy SITS Day!!!

Michele said...

Congrats on your big day!! You deserve all the attention. Good luck swimming through the mountain of comments. Well, you're probably used to that by now! :-)

Great post, btw.

Gladys said...

I think it's an excellent idea. Hey you know what else you could do? You could open a pencil stand outside the cafeteria the day of testing and sell #2 pencils for a premium.

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Sheesh! I'd think they would install you in some honorary fund-raising position what with all your great ideas. The nerve of that woman.

TL said...

Happy Sits day!
What a funny post!
Off to read more.

Momo Fali said...

It seems to me, that you're a GENIUS! I'm suggesting these ideas at the next school board meeting.

Jeanne said...

Being the bellweather sheep is a tough job -- but I can't think of anyone better equipped to get the flock out of here....

The Eadle Family said...

hahaha. Congrats on your SITS day!

Firefly@www.firefly-shop.org said...

Congrats on your SITS day :)

Marrdy said...

I think your ideas are great. Some people are just too back woods for their own good!

Congrats on your SITS day!

Bee and Rose said...

You should be the head honcho of the National Fundraiser for Schools So That Our Kids Can Have Good School Stuff program. How dumb is Mrs. Wingo for not seeing all the dollars you are raking in for you..I mean, for her....

Love your blog. Love your 'stache...

You are a rockstar...

Tori C. (The Sweet Jelly Bean) said...

I hate those weird sunglasses!

Lori said...

Congratulations for being a featured blogger!

shopatmoxie said...

You're one funny lady.

coco-ono said...

Congrats on Sits!

Grand Pooba said...

She'll be sorry when the other schools start doing it!

Susie said...

Congratulations on your SITs feature! I hope you enjoy your day in the sun:-)

Kally said...

Congrats on being the SITS featured blog!!!!

I always crack up at every post you make :)

BTW- I would totally pay to drop off the kid at school just to get out of that evil snake-like line they keep us waiting in.

K said...

Seriously, people are crushing the best ideas. Schools need money, you found a good method of collection and still they complain.

God, I don't want to be on the PTA... is there an easy way to get out of it when the time comes for my son to start school?

Chris said...

They all want to whine and complain about finances but when someone steps up to the plate and does something to fix the problem... they're publicly scorned. I think she was just mad because she didn't think of it first... or maybe because you weren't giving her a cut.

Fragrant Liar said...

Okay, way too funny. That's exactly what I needed to read today. THANKS!!

our fantasy said...

Im laughing out loud- to loud for work! Really- why didnt I think of this?
visiting from SITS-

The Retired One said...

Too damn funny. Oops...there's another idea....Must put in donation for swearing!
PMP!!
That was a great post!

Comedy Goddess said...

You know the old saying, those who can't teach take a dim view of money earning potential. You were once again brilliant.

Jen said...

That's too funny! Congrats on being featured on SITS!!

Sarah said...

Don't give up! I would love to hear about how the nurse's office can be turned into a money making machine! I'm behind you! =] even if Ms. Wingo isn't!

Great post! Hilarious!

Stopping by from SITS! Have a great Monday!

Blicky Kitty said...

Woo hoo thanks for the shout out!

That Ms. Wingo should just count her blessings. If my children's school had flushing toilets or parents with cars we'd definitely do a fundraiser. For now we'll just stick to our raffle. The prize it one month's child support payment.

Laura said...

Congrats on your SITS day!

Jen said...

you are absolutely hysterical!!! And congrats on your SITS day!

Cassie said...

Funny post. Love the pay toilet idea. Congrats on the SITS feature.

Swirl Girl said...

Awesome idea for a fundraiser! I need to mention this one at the next PTA meeting! We actually auctioned off parking spaces one year and raised like a gajillion dollars...until some bone heads parked perpendicular to the spaces and blocked people in.

turds.

Rachel said...

Happy SITS day! I am having a great time reading your posts! They are cracking me up. Hope you have a great day. Congrats on being featured.

mommy4life said...

Thanks for the laugh. Came over from SITS!

SITS Girls said...

I am laughing so hard right now... I run a large day camp in LA... we are the Queens of Carpool... your sign is cracking me up.

Hope you are loving your SITS day!

And, we hope to keep seeing you in roll call!

Tiffany and Heather

Not The Rockefellers said...

This is just genius ( slapping her head in a why didn't I think of that fashion) I'm bringing a copy of this to the next fundraising meeting.

I'm half serious!

Peace - Rene

Vivian said...

It takes a brave soul to think outside the box. Here's to innovators!

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Have you thought about putting an ATM next to the sign - then you could also reap ridiculous fees for the transactions...

andy said...

me likey the funny! thanks for the midday chuckle:)

Tara said...

LOL!!!! Yes, i'm laughing....out loud! Woo---thank you!

LORI said...

AS AN EDUCATOR, I FOR ONE THINK THE CURB SIDE DROP OFF FEE IS FABULOUS! I MEAN REALLY--WHERE COULD ONE DROP OFF A KID/KIDS FOR A MEASLY $3.00 ANYWHERE ELSE AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT?! AT LEAST AT SCHOOL THE PARENTS CAN BE CAUTIOUSLY CONFIDENT THAT THEIR CHILD/CHILDREN WILL BE ALIVE AT THE END OF THE DAY WHEN THE COME BACK FOR THEM. THE ADMINISTRATORS ARE REALLY MISSING THE BOAT ON THIS ONE...GLAD I FOUND YOUR BLOG--HAPPY SITS DAY!

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

I'm so happy that it's your day! CONGRATS!

MammaDucky said...

I assume saying "Philly" IS frowned upon by actually Philly-dwellers. Probably the same way calling New Orleans "Nawlins" is friggen annoying. So, I say, keep saying it. The reactions of folks is priceless. I constantly say "Nawlins" to my native husband, just to irk him. Good times.

angie said...

She was just mad that it wasn't her idea!

Gypsycaster said...

I am laughing so hard right now, I'm SURE my cats are getting worried!
So I guess they're not into the whole $5 hall pass thing either....

Gypsycaster said...

(popping in from SITS by the way. Congrats on your feature day!

Sassypants Wifey said...

Hell-arious! Truely what will these kids learn if not for people who are trendsetters. Look at the girl scouts, where would they be if they still sold more than 5 cookies in a single box? Broke surely.

kmoye said...

I wet my pants.
That was suppose to be a complement.
: )

WA said...

Loved this one.

I still can't figure out why nobody thought my idea of having Tostitos sponsor our 1st grade spelling bee was a good one. Losers.

bec4 said...

Too funny! I would pay for parking at my child's school--it is a rare commodity! Happy SITS day!

michelle said...

Mrs. WIngo needs to chillax. It isn't like you wouldn't offer the free/reduced rate for the less fortunate parents, like they do with the lunch program? I mean come on, the cafeteria makes a killing on the snack line, and that is so bad for ht ekids. THe drop off is like all about keeping them safe an dshit? I would so pay for that!

Sherrie said...

Happy SITS day to you! Congrats on being the FB. You sound like a riot! Off to read more! LOL!

Ashley said...

Congrats on your SITS feature! Hope you're having a great day!!!

nikkicrumpet said...

LOL do you think a phone call to Obama could get you a cabinet post....I'm pretty sure this kind of thinking would have this economical mess straightened out in no time! Totally cracked me up...but what else is new.

angie said...

I thought it was a great idea! Congrats on your SITS day!

michelle said...

too funny!

Leslie said...

That is hilarious! I LOVED it! Congrats on your SITS day!

- Leslie

Deb said...

Your innovative idea for school fund raising is far better than the usual crap - like getting kids to sell wrapping paper for 10 times more than it should be only to have it ripped to shreds eventually.

TattooedMinivanMom said...

Brilliant!

Purely brilliant!

Administrators are so stiff and uncreative.

Rachel Ann said...

Here from SITS on your SAUCY day...that was hilarious! Ah...the joys of fundraising in a public school setting...ya know how many chocolate bars I have bought!??

My Side of the Story! said...

Jealousy just runs rampid in the school systems in this country! I bet she would even frown upon the charity 3 card Monty!

Jill said...

Congrats on being featured! Just stopping by from SITS!

Renee said...

You are the best. That is all I have to add. xoxoxo

Love Renee

the mama bird diaries said...

You are so under-appreciated. Hilarious.

ella said...

I'm feeling so *A-crowd* having read your blog before you were featured on SITS, so uh,yeah for me I guess!
Pay toilets and candy machines IN the bathrooms... now we're talking.

Lee the MWOB Queen said...

Are you kidding me? My kids little Catholic school would have been all over this idea. They're total hos when it comes to fundraising...

I think you could be like a fundraising consultant to schools with vision...Mrs. Wingo needs to think outside the box. :-)

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

What is wrong with people? for serious.

Cara Kipp said...

Happy SITS day! Beware of all the silent Priuses - :)

The Wife O Riley said...

How did she take down the sign after you stuck an orange cone up her bum?

Barb said...

Congratulations on your SITS recog! Love the idea about taking tips at kid drop-off for fundraising.

Joanie said...

You are a genius!

Joanie said...

It's okay to say Philly. Everyone from Philly says Philly.
OK, I'm feeling a bit stupid, but what is SITS?

blognut said...

Don't let it worry you that people are threatened by your cutting-edge innovation. Screw 'em!

Valerie said...

That is so funny! Happy SITS day!

La Belette Rouge said...

So could you please tell me what the next sunglass trend is going to be? I am guessing it is going to be a one piece facial shield that obscures the entire face. What do you say great trend predictor?

Its Me(SARA) Behind the Camera said...

Came over from SITS! :)

This post is cracking me up! LOL

My First Kitchen said...

The silent Prius might run you over. Love it.

Lorie said...

I think you should be the next PTA Prez! ;D

Nap Warden said...

*chuckle*

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

ROFL omg love it!

Reddirt Woman said...

I cannot believe, in this day and age, that any school administrator would look down their nose at any money raising event. Sounds like
Ms. Wingo may have a bit of an image problem, like her being the great provider and fund raising expert and no room for innovation...

(Shaking my head) Some people need to get a life.

Helen

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Are you TRYING to say that you DIDN'T like the giant 10 pound hairball? I just don't buy it...

Hallie

Poetikat said...

I just call it enterprise. Yes, that's it; you're enterprising. How much did you manage to snag before the Wingnut put the kaibosh on your "enterprise"?

Btw, I'd love your input on my latest Blasts From the Past post. I'm sure you've got stories to tell.

Kat

MommyTime said...

Honestly, this is just pure genius, and if some people can't see that, they should have to do all the packaging of baked goods for the next sale all by themselves.

CaraBee said...

This is why our schools are in so much financial trouble, they're just not taking advantage of the resources at hand.

Temple said...

Hilarious (and genius) as always! I think you may have stumbled upon a way to get the States' educational systems out of the crapper..for real.

Panda Mime said...

You have an award awaiting you on my blog... Hope you like it. I have way too much free time on my hands right now.
x

Kulio said...

There is always a Mrs. Wingo to squelch the innovator....

I believe you handled the situation well, but in the future you might consider selling dirty martinis on the first and last day of school, before and after drop-off. It's always either a time of celebration or complete desperation, and a martini will do for either.

bfs ~ "Mimi" said...

LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!
♥♥♥♥ it!!!!!!!!!!!!

WheresMyAngels said...

"Oingo Boingo" I can still remember the FIRST and LAST time I saw ummm a TAPE of theirs. My boyfriend had just went off to Boot Camp and left me with his beloved tape case. All this CRAP I never heard of, like the Dead Kennedy's and other music that makes you feel like your dating a freaking serial killer. Oingo Boingo was in that case, that was only opened that one day, before it got stolen;)

Just take kids lunch monies and use it for the fun raising. That will equal skinnier kids and fatter school pockets.

Being Me said...

Strange story... I just joined SITS today but found you in a Blogcatalog search. It was meant to be! Twice!

Love what I've read so far.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Where were you when my kids were in school? All the moms were so fricking' serious. You would not believe the complaints I got when my son saw the potential in pogs and was bright enough to buy them from the side of the island where they had gone out of style and turn them over at his school for only a 500% mark up. The moms got quite touchy.

MuseSwings said...

You DID tell Wingo what she could do with one of those orange cones, didn't you?

Mommy With a Penis said...

Just brilliant. Why can't you be at my son's school. They're always bellyaching about $$$ We need your type.

Hutch

Ryan Ashley Scott@Optimistic Cynicism said...

I think I peed a little. Several times.

unfinishedrambler said...

Does Anna Lefler really exist? I never see her comment here. Of course, this is my first comment here too so maybe I don't exist either. ;) Just stopping by to say love your stuff, but wonder where you are.

bernthis said...

Just a little behind the times are we? What a tight ass

rightonmom said...

So how much did you rack up before Wingbat nixed it?

Brilliant and Congrats on the Sits!
You sooo deserve it.

Bride Sophisticate said...

Dropping by from SITS to say congrats on your feature and thanks for the smiles this morning, I loved your post, ingenious idea I must say, ha!

Shonda Little said...

You should totally be writing a book on being, I don't know, fucking awesome.

Real Live Lesbian said...

GAWD, what a bitch. ;)

LarryG said...

i think they should have a little toll drive through fee thing for the parents to drive through and drop some denarii into...
this was terrific, the folks are out there on fridays hawking donuts at my son's school. I make him hitchhike to school on Friday's :)

Jennifer P. said...

I think I need to have pay toilets installed in my house to cover the cleaning costs associated with 4 boys, bad aim, and one toilet.

Yup.

Thanks for the laugh!

The Pink Chick said...

You are absolutely hilarious! I love your fundraising ideas! It sounds like Ms. Wingo could use a little spice in her life!

Vodka Mom said...

Pay a quarter to take a crap? yeah, I would.

Eudea-Mamia said...

Haven't you heard, free marketplace is so 2008.

I think you're brilliant! Any thoughts on running for office?

BlackenedBoy said...

Did this really happen?

Kim said...

And then Ryan Air tried it and then changed their minds...

bernthis said...

um, when I ran over that kid with my prius I was going fifty and I know he heard me b/c i was yelling, "next time look before you cross! "

Juli said...

Yes, I'd pay to drop off my kid. More realistic than asking me to buy flower pots or bake a cake for the school fair.

The Empress said...

I'm with Queen of Shake Shake.

Fragrant Liar said...

Think I just got an idea for making money in the cul-de-sac! And it involves a big sign and me helping my neighbors out of their cars! Woot-woot for bankin' it!

Mark Noce said...

Lol! Hilarious as per usual:)

Jayne Martin said...

Just followed you over from your comment on Juli Ryan's blog and noticed that you're in the FNS Big Blog Book. Me, too!

So now I've signed up to stalk, er... follow you on Twitter and here, too.

This post made me laugh without benefit of alcohol. Thanks so much.

Jayne Martin (injaynesworld)

DEZMOND said...

I hate people who hate innovators! We must strike back and fight these status hiatus dictators! Now, who's with me?

When Pigs Fly said...

So many good ideas, so little time.

As always, you crack me up!

HermanTurnip said...

Some people just can't relate! You've money in the hand and the principle is more worried about reputation. Now, who's the one being childish here? ;-)

Harley May said...

I'm late reading this, as always, but it is awesome.

A suggestion for the authorities at your upcoming middle school: Confiscate phones/social media devices and have the children pay to get them back. They will pay. Oh, they will cry and pay.

Erin said...

Pay toilets will weed out those kids who seem to aim right for the toilet seat, I bet.

Tania said...

hilarious - nice style..playfully philosophical. I will follow your blog now. If you feel so inclined, consider following mine.

ayearintheswamp.blogspot.com

For Worse The Series said...

I absolutely love your initiative!
I think you will really like our series, LOL!