Friday, July 31, 2009

Back to School (back to mystery)

The other day I heard a commentator say that the back-to-school shopping season was second to Christmas for retailers. As we’re responsible for a grandson, I can see why. His sixth grade school supply list runs a full page—notebooks, three-ring binders, folders, ruled paper, No. 2 pencils, erasable pens (whoever heard of such in years past), glue sticks, liquid soap, ad infinitum. He also needs a new roll-around backpack. The old one came apart at the end of school (I think they’re designed with that in mind).

He wants to buy a laptop, which he insists everybody in his class has. I believe that as much as I believe they all have a motorbike and a swimming pool. Anyway, we gave him $100 toward a laptop on his birthday, and he’s agreed to pay the rest out of his savings. We’ll get this and everything else we can find when Tennessee has a sales tax holiday next weekend. It should pack the malls with moms and dads and other fortunate (it says here) grandparents.

School kids need new shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, sweaters. Since grandson goes to a private school, we have to buy special items like shirts with the school logo emblazoned on them. Then there are miscellaneous items like lunchboxes, which aren’t necessarily boxes anymore.

Where’s Obama when you need him? We could use a little back-to-school stimulus. Of course, the stores will love it. But as a mystery writer, how do I get in on this retail bonanza?

We received an email a couple of days ago (I don’t think you can have a kid in school without email) with a 2009-2010 Summer Reading list. That’s right, Summer. After all, it’s only ten months till that magic time rolls around again. And guess what’s first on the list for Seventh Graders?

The Hound of the Baskervilles
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For Eleventh Graders, the book is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

Okay, they’re classics, but they’re mysteries. If these high schoolers learn to read mysteries, someday they might pick up one of mine. Meanwhile, their parents need to hold back a little of that back-to-school cash to spend at the bookstore on The Surest Poison. That'll support the local economy.


Morgan Mandel said...

We could use a sales tax holiday here. Chicago is 10 1/4% and most suburbs are at 10%.

I love the back to school sales. I usually hit Walgreens for lots of folders and other items to use ofr promotion really cheap.

Morgan Mandel

Chester Campbell said...

I thought Tennessee was bad at 9 1/4%. That's including the county's share. Sarah scanned all the ads in today's paper for the back-to-school sales. We're ready for Friday.