Monday, September 27, 2010

Silly Business

Curse you, Robert Croak.

Mr. Croak, it turns out, is the guy who invented Silly Bandz, those shaped rubber-band bracelets that every kid is going nuts for these days. And by every kid, yes, that does include The Kiddo.

She has almost a hundred of the little suckers, and the only good things I can say about them are at least they don’t take up much room and they aren’t that expensive (although, I could get her a thousand regular rubber bands for the price of two dozen Silly Bandz, so maybe that’s not quite an accurate observation.)

Trust me, if you want to see a teacher steam, just waggle a Silly Band in front of her.

If the pesky little rubber bands would stay put on a child’s arm, it would be one thing. That’s way too much to hope for, not when kids can string them together in long necklaces and have protracted haggling/trading sessions that would make the brokers on the New York Stock Exchange look like amateurs.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud that Mr. Croak found a way to make a living during this recession. And I’m glad he has made a success out of a few cents worth of rubber band materials. I’m not begrudging him his pursuit of happiness.

I’m begrudging him my pursuit of SANITY.

I strictly forbade The Kiddo taking the little sapsuckers to school. Hey, I was a teacher, and I know how hard it is to keep a kid’s attention on math or reading even without the latest fad. I could see in two quick blinks of an eye the aggravation Silly Bandz could cause.

Of course, no good deed goes unpunished. The Kiddo started in at once on the, “but everyone else wears Silly Bandz!” and “I promise, promise, promise that I won’t play with them at school.”

My response was to give her the steely-eyed, “I’m no fool” look and to drag, from somewhere deep, deep inside me, yet another, “no.”

“But, please, please, Mommy,” she begged me, “just ASK the teachers and you’ll see that it’s okay. We can wear Silly Bandz.”

So I did. After the aforementioned steam stopped hissing, the teachers were able to confirm my earlier suspicion: Silly Bandz weren’t quite the devil incarnate, but they sure beat the stuffing out of studying place values and main ideas, and as such, didn’t exactly complement the Three R’s. In fact, the principal had just handed down a No-Silly-Bandz policy.

I do wish Mr. Croak all the success in the world. But first? Could he serve a time-out of sorts? If I had my druthers, I’d stick him in a classroom replete with 25 students loaded to the gills with the silly sapsuckers and tell him that he needed to teach a lesson on independent clauses. If he managed to get the concept across without confiscating his rubber swag, why, then he really would have earned my respect.


Matthew Rush said...

Hah! That is quite the image.

My kids wear those things, and while I have not yet forbade them to wear them to school, I could see it being a problem for teachers. But there is always something, isn't there? In my time it was Garbage Pail Kids. I had hundreds and we would trade them every day out on the playground.

Granted, we didn't pull them out during class. Or at least I didn't.

It is pretty amazing how well those silly bandz sell, considering not a penny was spent on marketing. I think I'll include a free package with my book, assuming I ever get published.

Piedmont Writer said...

My 5 yr. old just asked the other day if she could have some and I said no, meanest mommy in the world am I.

This morning she wrapped her wrist in multi-colored pony tail holders. Genius is my kid.

Tawna Fenske said...

Are those the same little dealies that were popular in the mid-80s? I remember wearing something like that in 6th grade (along with my jelly shoes). Please tell me all the 80s trends aren't making a comeback.


Jessica Lemmon said...

That is so cute, Cynthia! Having no kiddos myself, I became aware of these little buggers via my friend's kiddos. Then, of course I started seeing them everywhere.

My adult (but only by age, haha) brother bought the Toy Story ones and gave me his beloved REX. Rex is proudly displayed in my car, right over the stick shift, but there he'll remain.

Don't get me wrong I'd totally wear him proudly. But alas, my wrists are too big. :-(