NEW YORK - Investors sent stock markets into flights of exuberance this week in reaction to leaked reports of a fifth-grade school supply list that one analyst described as "truly inspired."
The list, describing a wide range of items specified by both brand and brutally exacting characteristics, (glossy, hardcover spiral notebook with zipper, magnetic and button-closing accessory pockets; 132 pages, $17.99; Coach) is said to require no fewer than three separate retail outings and at least $168.46 to fulfill, including impulsive last-minute folder upgrades.
The report sent the indexes surging as market strategists pounced on shares of blue erasable pens, wide-ruled notebook paper, 8-count bold Crayola markers - but not the thin ones - and elaborate expandable file folders.
Shares of Office Depot (ODP:NYSE) led the rally, climbing more than $3 in the last half hour on rumors that a suburban mommy in the Chicago area had begun to crumble in her resistance to a skull and crossbones backpack and matching lunch box.
By day's end, it was clear that "off-list" purchases had left investors even further ahead, as consumers found themselves worn down by middle-schoolers who refused to consider existing supplies from the bin in the basement.
"I know what I need and I don't want to use five-year-old, dusty crap," said one finnicky 13-year-old, whose insistence on a faux-leather $34.99 three-ring organizer left the investor relations department at Office Depot hastily adjusting third-quarter projections.
Photo: 10-year-old bullish on backpacks.
Ugh, I feel your pain! My 10 year old is horribly picky this year, making shopping a horrendous chore. Next year I'm going to make her shop with her dad...that'll teach her LOL.
Posted by: kyliesmom | August 23, 2008 at 10:54 AM
This is hilarious. And reading things like this makes me so nervous for when my kids hit school age.
PS Thanks for the tag; I returned the favor today, though if you're not up for another one, I understand. :)
Posted by: MommyTime | August 23, 2008 at 02:12 PM
So, I say to my husband, guess what the SK spent on school supplies for her kids this week and he says,"$180 bucks" without even taking a breath. So i say, how did you know that? And he says, " cause that's what we spent on Alex". As feared, The "List" has made its way far past the borders of Illinois....
Posted by: nthnglsts | August 24, 2008 at 02:47 PM
I escaped relatively unscathed at $139.50, not sure how. Especially since 11-year-old known as "accomplice" insisted on picking out the designer folders with cute animals on them and designer dividers -- DIVIDERS!!! -- with funky cutout shapes and a color palette that looks like a Martha Stewart swatch collage. What's wrong with the good old yellow sheets and colored tabs?
Posted by: Executive Suburbanite | August 26, 2008 at 03:46 PM
Great post! Pitch perfect and hilarious. Please keep them coming!
Posted by: Dana | September 02, 2008 at 06:49 PM