Call it the entrepreneurial nature of youth. Or desperation. Call it a laziness that meant I didn't have to drag my 13-year-old butt down gray Jersey streets for hours, alone, in the bleak autumn chill.
Call it meeting local market demand. Or easy money.
Hey, call it "Clarence," if you like.
But under this mild-mannered exterior...
Below this honors student halo and within these polished shoes of goody-two...
There lurked a flagrant rules-violator and illegal goods pack mule at the institution of learning we'll call Edgar Allen Poe High School.
And the benefits far outweighed any burden on my teenage conscience.
Yes... you guessed it... I was dealing in...
"Do you have it? Do you have the stuff?"
Tanya "The Moo" Mueller was a big-boned, big-chested, big-bellied, big-fisted girl with thighs like a junkyard car crusher. She'd sooner block tackle you as look at you. I knew; a few of my friends had unwillingly played her tackle dummy.
But "The Moo" and I had found unexpected common ground. Yes, each time her great shadow would fall over me in the girl's locker room like an indoor solar eclipse, oh, I'd still flinch...
I'd still anticipate knuckles against my newly braces-free teeth. But what I'd get was a twenty tucked hastily into my hand. As long as I had those band candy chocolate bars... that sweet, sweet sugar rush... I had immunity.
High school was survival of the fittest and while The Moo could never be called fit, I could count on her candy addiction to keep me safe.
So my stash was secreted in my book bag. Who would ever suspect Miss Priss wasn't carrying thick tomes of Earth Science, American History, Language Arts and copies of Le Petite Prince?
Perhaps the vague whiff of mint or peanut butter might linger as telltale evidence... But nothing more... nothing more.
I was careful. I had a rep for being discreet.
So buys were made in hasty pre- and post-class rushes, slipped carefully from bag to purse, under desks, between the covers of Trapper Keepers bearing innocent kittens or rainbows. Thanks to the overall student body, plus "The Moo's" cravings, why sometimes 30-50 bars a day would change hands.
The Crispies, the Almond Bliss, the Peanut Blasts, the Mint Mind-Melts... Each one had its buyers, and I made sure the shipments kept rolling in.
Now you probably wonder-- do I feel no guilt as an illicit choco-trafficker? Do I feel no adult pang of regret over abusing the which rules our educational administration so deeply entrusted me with? Do I feel no remorse over contributing to The Moo's obvious food addiction? Or the wasteful spending of hard-earned allowances for which my smuggled goods were exchanged?
And the answer is... nah. I made it over the border to Canada. I high-tailed it to Florida once. These were, of course, pre-scheduled band trips I'd funded with the chocolate bar dough. But still.
Everyone has their price. And mine was $1 for plain, $2 for specialty.
Question for the day: Any other former band members here? And what, if anything, did you have to sell for your fundraisers?