My son’s got the Box Top bug, which means that at Mommablog Towers we ALL have the Box Top bug.
Do you know what Box Top are? Nope. Neither did I till had a kid in kindergarten. For the uninitiated, Box Tops are a way of fundraising for schools. For every coupon clipped from the various items in your grocery bag (from participating companies), the school gets 10 cents. Since 1996 more than $475 million has been raised for education this way.
I’ve been very impressed with our son’s tenacity in finding these Box Tops but now it appears that we’re living in a Box Top war-zone, and there’s a lot at stake; when he takes a bunch of Box Tops in to school he’s rewarded by getting a sticker (a huge motivation for a five-year-old!).
Clipping them is an art form in itself. The first Box Top is hard. You might draw blood, get tissues all over the place, or throw pancake mix on the floor as you nick the bag. You’ll break out in a sweat as you try to hold your cool in front of your child…but then you get going, and suddenly you’re slicing Box Tops in under three seconds with one deft maneuver of your pocket knife. Success!
But don’t get too cocksure. Your Box Tops probably cost you an extra $200 in crap food you didn’t intend to buy – but hey, it’s all worth it for the $2 it will give to your kids public school.
Have you noticed that new shit in the world is always brought to you by the stuff that is essentially doing you in; cigarette and fast food companies are always sponsoring stuff, because they know they are half killing you anyway. You never walk into a library and hear “The new wing was brought to us by broccoli.”
(Here’s a thought, the next time the government wants a new stealth bomber, they should raise the funds in Box Tops).
But soon, against your will, Box Top Mania kicks in. You’re addicted. Nothing can get in the way or your obsession. You want to raid your neighbors home, and think about stealing stuff from the supermarket. You start plotting and planning borderline criminal acitivity. “Make a diversion in aisle four, and I’ll cut through all the Box Tops we can get in aisle two.”
Super greed sets in. You think about photocopying the coupons. Technically, it’s counterfeiting but thats’s okay, until the police are at your door. You blame your five year old, and now your kid’s got a record. Two to four for Box Tops. It’s a downward spiral. Crack is safer, surely?
Box Tops changes a person. And families. In the past, if I came to your house, I might rifle through your cabinets looking for some good gossip, now all I care about are Box Tops.
We went to visit my husband’s cousin last weekend. She’s a Mom of three, and in the ultimate act of love, let my son rummage around her kitchen in search of Box Tops. The whole family got in on it. Our son felt exceptionally triumphant at finding TEN total!
At one point he held a packet of Fruit Loops in his hands and looked at me confused. “Why doesn’t this cereal have a Box Top? You told me all the unhealthy, overly sugared cereals have them?” Wow, I didn’t know that little bit of trivia would stick to his brain.
But it’s all about one-upmanship. At school, when he proudly presented his ten Box Tops to the Teacher, one of his classmates loudly announced that he had collected over 400 Box Tops. FOUR HUNDRED???!!!
What is this kid, a Mormon?
Does his family rob houses at night?
So this holiday season, forget candy and Lego. Forget potluck and Spiderman games. Bring us your Box Tops. That’s all. Box Tops. Because it’s on baby, oh yes, it’s on!