Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Golden Nuggets, Caution Slips and The Free Market Economy of the Fourth Grade

Last night at dinner, my bookworm made a surprising announcement.

"I am buying a blank caution slip from my friend for four golden nuggets."

(Caution slips are given to children when they are in big trouble and usually involves a trip to the principal's office)

She proceeded to explain how a friend of hers was given a blank caution slip and now apparently the fourth graders in room 12 decided it was a very valuable commodity. The bidding began, with one student offering to loan the child a favorite pen while others offered favors. With many children attempting to gain possession of the slip, the bidding switched to a more specific currency, golden nuggets. Golden nuggets are a paper ticket given out for good behavior to be used at the class store for prizes. My daughter informed me that she had won the auction and she and her friend shook on it.

I was still shocked and feeling like I should reprimand my child. I was thinking of warning her that she could get in big trouble, but her uncle and father beat me to the punch. They proceeded to shower her with praise and encouragement for this recent endeavor.

Before giving my lecture, I decided to dig deeper and ask her why she wanted the caution slip. Her eyes lit up as she explained how she wanted to have it so she could give it out to some ill behaved student if needed. The glint in her eye revealed how she relished the power she would wield as the possessor of the blank caution slip. I could barely keep a straight face as the look in her eye reminded me of the power the ring had over Frodo in Tolkien's recent cinematic tale.

Ah the desire for power, so intoxicating and undeniably strong, perhaps this is what happened on Wall Street. One too many souls getting that glazed over look and letting power and greed take the wheel. Quick grab a blank caution slip.


AVT Coach said...

It will be interesting to see how this story plays out..I feel a life lesson coming on. You must post on the outcome!

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

Too funny!!

You have a clever and ingenious daughter.

Go girl power!

I really wish there was some kind of caution slip the average person could pass out to stop wall street corruption and greed!

Momisodes said...

What a great analogy here.

Power can be quite intoxicating and addicting. Too bad no one is handing those on wall street a caution slip for their ill behavior.

Genny said...

Love your analogy. And I like how you ended this. :)

The Wine Commonsewer said...

Too bad no one is handing those on wall street a caution slip for their ill behavior.

The market would have but the government bought up all the caution slips.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Too funny...I have to admit, when you first mentioned the golden nuggets, I thought she meant chicken nuggets!

I was trying to visualize how she would get four nuggets to school and they be worth eating!

It's fun up inside my head sometimes. :-)

Kacey Randolph said...

Are we forming a line? Because if so I want in on it! I have a 2 1/2 year old that could use it some days! Ha! Ha! You're right - power & greed are bad...but if I could only figure out control. Control of 2 year old. Hmmmmm.... :o)

I'm dropping by from AVT Coach's fab blog. I wanted to say hi!