Monday, April 28, 2008

The (Second) Time I Almost Got Kicked Out Of School

A few weeks ago, I regaled you all with the story of the time I almost got arrested by the DEA in junior high school for selling what they THOUGHT was cocaine, when in actuality it was nothing more than sneezing powder.

You would've thought that I would have learned my lesson…

…. But just about 1 year later I had another one of my ridiculous schemes come back to bite me on the ass.

I’ve already shown you guys a snapshot or two from some of my high school plays that I was in.
During my high school years, I was a proud cast member of such high-steppin’ classics as Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, and I Remember Mama.

It was during my time working on the latter of these gems that we learned that our production was in a bit of a financial pickle, and we needed to do whatever we could to pitch in and raise some money. The Show Must Go On, and all that jazz…

So, I decided that I would help the play by selling candy bars, specifically 3 Musketeers, and donating the profits to the play. During this time, my family owned a candy store, and once a week my father would go to the local candy wholesaler, so I figured I would tag along the next time, buy a box of the chocolate bars at the wholesale price (about 50 cents a piece) and sell ‘em for a buck during school.

The school wins, I win, the hungry kids win, HUMANITY wins. What could be easier, right?

So, the next day I went to school with my box of 3 Musketeers. During Social Studies (about 2 hours after lunch… I’m no fool!), I told a bunch of kids that I had them for sale. My ploy to attack the target demographic of “Kids when they are most hungry” worked like a charm, and I sold half the box after class.

Before the day was up, I had sold out the entire box and had netted a $20 dollar profit for myself (I mean the school play… dammit I needed to keep reminding myself that).

That night I went back to the distributor, and bought TWO boxes. By the next day, word of mouth had spread throughout the school that I was “The Candyman”, and I ended up selling out by noon.

At one point, a freckle-face kid that I recognized came to me between classes and said “Hey, you got any Snickers?”. When I told him “Nope, sorry…. Just 3 Muskateers”, he looked dejected as he skulked away.

I vowed then and there that I would never again let a poor, sad hungry fat kid with money walk away from me without making a sale.

That night, I went BACK to the wholesalers and bought 5 boxes of 3 Musketeers, 2 Boxes of Snickers, and 2 Cases of York Peppermint Patties (my fav!).

I brought it all to school the next day, and quickly realized I couldn’t fit it all in my locker, so I put the boxes in an empty locker next to mine, and locked it with an old gym lock I had.

By now, business was good. REAL good. I would stand against my locker (I mean, my supply warehouse) between periods, and people would come up to me and tell me what they wanted.

By the end of the second week, I essentially had a full candy store operating from within the confines of Valley Stream North High School. My merchandise was now stored in a row of 3 lockers, each filled to the brim with boxes of everything you could think of. Mild Duds, Gobstoppers, Twizzlers.. you name it. I was clearing about $50 a day, and had to make nightly trips to the store to refill my stock.

The money came rolling in. And the funny thing was, at some point all that green went to my head. The money was just too good! The thought of giving this money to the school play, which I DID intend to do when I started, started taking a back seat to just keeping the money for myself. Clearly, that little devil called "Greed" was nestled snugly on my shoulder.....

I felt bad about it, I really did, but somewhere after the first few weeks, I stopped telling people this was “For the school play”, and just hoped they would forget all about it.

They didn’t.

Once again, much like my sneezing powder incident, you would have thought that such a bright young entrepreneur as myself would have considered the fact that the faculty might start asking questions about how a school that didn’t even have a fucking candy machine on the property suddenly had kids all over the school shoving candy into every orifice that they could find.

So, again I got dragged down to the principals office (no DEA agents there this time tho). My story of school philanthropy didn’t hold water either, since I had never considered even clearing this money-making plan of mine with any of my teachers or anyone in the play.

In the end, however, it all worked out. The play went on, I convinced the school to not expel me (again), and I even kept the money in the end.

I just had so suffer a pretty big ass-whooping from my father, who at this point was getting pretty fucking tired of getting calls from the school like this….

In the end, not a bad tradeoff.

Interesting side note: My costar in that play was none other than Miss Seventeen Editor in Chief and TV fashion celebrity Atoosa Rubenstein, who was (and still is) a very good friend of mine. See? I know all the “in” people…..

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