CHANOOGA FALLS, WIâ€”Time is running out for Billy Wilder, a 3rd grade student at Chanooga Falls Elementary School. Lunch period is nearly over, and he has yet to secure a lunch trade.
“It’s not like I haven’t tried to make a trade,” said Wilder, the recently re-elected Vice-President of CFESAPL (Chanooga Falls Elementary School Anti-PokÃ©mon league). “I’ve done plenty of advertising. I told everybody during recess that I was looking to make a lunch swap, but so far I haven’t gotten any takers,” Wilder concluded glumly.
“Marketing has never really been Billy’s strong point,” said 4th grader, Chuck “Sticky Fingers” McRea. “Word around the schoolyard is that Billy’s mom is a vegan, and she’s the one that always prepares his lunches. That means no dairy products, which means no pudding cups or cookies! Who wants a bunch of vegetables for lunch?” McRea asked derisively, crinkling up his nose. “When Billy announced that his lunch would be traded ‘as is’, that was a dead giveaway.”
“A negative word-of-mouth campaign has definitely hurt Billy’s chances,” confirmed 5th grader Ricky Montessi. Montessi is a lunchroom veteran who has closed many profitable lunch trades, and has even acted as a go-between in brokering deals for several other students. We asked Montessi what he would have done differently from Wilder, and he had this to say:
“Billy needs to adopt more traditional schoolyard advertising tactics. For example, last month I wanted to let Susie Tompkins know that I liked her. So during recess, I ran up and punched her in the face and then ran away. Then I had one of my associates deliver a note to her that said ‘Susie is a stupidhead’. It wasn’t signed, but she knew it was from me. Then when Susie tried to talk to me later that same week, I pretended like I didn’t know who she was. She seemed confused at the time but trust me, she got the point! If you want to get your message out to everyone in the schoolyard, these are the kind of tried and true strategies that you have to follow. You won’t tell Susie that I like her, will you?” Montessi added hastily, nervously looking over his shoulder.
Wilder concluded the interview, saying, “It’s not my fault my mother is what she is. I really wish the other kids could see beyond the prejudices that shroud the plentiful harvest within my lunch boxâ€¦ All I want is some cookies, man.” He then added glumly, “Would you like to trade lunches with me?”
“No thanks,” I replied, rubbing my stomach emphatically. “Iâ€¦uhâ€¦already ate.”