Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yes, i admit it...

...i'm an easy mark.

It is, i'm sure, because of my history.  As a child, i was forced to walk door to door selling.  Chocolate for school.  Cookies for Girl Scouts.  Raffle tickets for the majorettes group.

Let me tell you, i hated every stinking minute of it.  Hated getting doors slammed in my face.  Hated having to walk all over the neighborhood lugging the chocolate, keeping up with the money, sweat pouring down or freezing or just plain wishing i could be at home doing what i really wanted to do, which was bury my nose in a book.

Having to do it year after year made me angry, too.  Why in the world, i always wondered, can't they just charge people what it costs or ask for donations, why go through all the trouble to make only a percentage by having the kids sell stuff?  Now that i'm a grown-up, i understand it more, but i still hate the idea that kids have to hawk wares in order to not get in trouble at school or to pay for after school activities.

In fact, i hated it so much that by the time i had a part time job, i used to just buy my share so i wouldn't have to go door to door.  And yes, i resented having to use my spending money on that stuff.

(Although i must say, i admire the spunk of our next door neighbors, who told their daughter they would give her $50 of the $100 she needed to participate in one activity she wanted to do.  She would have to come up with the rest.  So she bought a $50 gas card with what they gave her, and sold raffle tickets for it at $2 each until she had her hundred.  Brilliant kid.) 

Thus, when the kids come here, to our "No Solicitations Allowed" neighborhood (duly registered with the city as such), if it is at all possible, i buy something.  Whether it's allowed or not, there's no stopping the youngsters, they can pass all the regulations they want.

(Yes, i buy at church, too; that's now a favorite place for kids to sell if their parents don't want them canvassing the neighborhood.  Also, i stop and buy something at every lemonade stand i pass, as i figure the kids are working and should be encouraged.)

She was cute, with her freckles and curls, peddling sugar (which isn't good for us at all), and i bought 5 of them, one box of chocolate covered almonds for each member of the family (and no, i won't eat one, they can fight over it).  She had her boxes in a rolling backpack and grinned hugely as she dug deep for the boxes.  Apparently she was doing well today and only had a few left when she got to our house, and i'm glad, for her sake.

So, if you are a kid selling stuff for band, or Scouts, or school, be it unhealthy foodstuffs or wrapping paper or candles or whatever, come on by.  My loathing of having to sell the stuff for so many years has made me a sympathetic, easy target.

Today is:

Balloons Around the World -- balloon artists around the world are encouraged to donate an hour or more to a charity of their choice in their community, entertaining children everywhere with balloon sculpture

Buttering-Up Semi-Finals -- Fairy Calendar

Change a Light Day -- US, sponsored by EntergyStar, promoting energy saving light bulbs

Festival of Bacchus/Dionysus -- Ancient Roman Calendar (sometimes called Meditrinalia, tasting the old and new wine and celebrating the harvest)

Independence Day -- Iraq

International Walk to School/Bike to School Day -- to promote both healthy exercise and less pollution

Kae Chun Jul -- Korea (National Foundation Day, BC 2333)

Morazan Day -- Honduras (Soldier's Day)

National Butterfly and Hummingbird Day -- internet generated; celebrate these beauties today, no matter where you are

National Carmel Custard Day

Nottingham Goose Fair -- Nottingham, England (dating back to at least 1284, what began as a fair market so people could stock up on food supplies for winter is now a fun festival with rides and games; through Sunday)

Oschophoria -- Ancient Greek Calendar (in honor of the return of Theseus after killing the Minotaur; deities celebrated were Dionysius and either Athena or Ariadne, depending on the source cited; date approximate)

Relief of Leiden Day -- Netherlands

Reunification Day -- Germany

St Dionysius the Areopagite's Day (considered the first Bishop of Athens, mentioned in Acts 17; Patron of Zakynthos Island, Greece; against headaches and the devil)

Sts. Ewald the Black and Ewald the Fair's Day (Patrons of Westphalia)

Techies' Day -- give your techies some well deserved appreciation

Birthdays Today:

Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1954
Lindsey Buckingham, 1949
Roy Horn, 1944
Chubby Checker, 1941
Erik Bruhn, 1928
Gore Vidal, 1925
James Herriot (James Alfred Wight), 1916

Today in History:

The state of Gojoseon (modern-day Korea) is founded by Dangun Wanggeom during the reign of the Chinese emperor Yao, BC2333
The siege and battle of Alesia is ended by the surrender of Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, to Julius Caesar, BC52
Julius Caesar's assassins suffer a decisive defeat at the First Battle of Phillipi, BC42
Jews are expelled from Eger, Bohemia, 1430
The Duke of Montrose issues a warrant for the arrest of Rob Roy MacGregor, 1712
British Captain James Cook anchors in Alaska, 1778
General Napoleon Bonaparte first rises to national prominence being named to defend the French National Convention against armed counter-revolutionary rioters, 1795
George Washington proclaims the first national Thanksgiving Day will be held on Nov. 26, 1789
American author Edgar Allan Poe is found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances; it is the last time he is seen in public before his death, 1849
J.S. Thurman patents a motor-driven vacuum cleaner, 1899
The first conference on wireless telegraphy agrees to adopt SOS as the warning signal and sign of distress, 1906
Leon Trotsky, Adolph Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and other Russian exiles in Vienna, Austria, found the Pravda newspaper, 1908
Mrs. W.H. Felton, of Georgia, becomes the first woman seated in the US Senate, 1922
A V-2 /A4-rocket from Test Stand VII at Peenemünde, Germany is the first man-made object to reach space, 1942
The United Kingdom successfully tests a nuclear weapon, 1952
Germany is reunified, 1990
Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy is attacked by one of the show's tigers, 2003


  1. I had to sell things door-to-door too and found it really hard, I must be the worst salesman ever.
    National Butterfly and Hummingbird Day! Wonderful, that was what I wrote about on my last post! xx

  2. Think you had it rough? Try peddling candy door to door when you're a fat kid. If I had a buck for every wise ass who asked me if I was eating all the profit, why Id.....

  3. Kay, i sympathize, as my dad can convince a chicken farmer to buy eggs, and i can't sell anything.

    Stephen, i wasn't exactly a walking pencil, either, so i understand.


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