The Scam

Every year, my kids’ school has a fundraiser they call “basket night.” As fundraisers go, it’s pretty cool. Beforehand, the classes put together baskets of goodies. Some of the baskets are minor things, like gift cards. Others are major. One year, there was a wheelbarrow full of gardening tools.

On basket night, you buy raffle tickets. Each basket has a box under it. You put as many of your raffle tickets into each box as you want. At the end of basket night, a single ticket is drawn for each basket. Whoever’s ticket is pulled wins the basket.

This year, my oldest son has gotten together with some friends to put together their own basket. They’re calling it “boy’s gift surprise.” He came home on Friday with the list of toys he was buying to add to the basket, but he was very clear that he couldn’t tell anyone what those toys were – not even his brother.

Last night, he and I went to the store to buy for the gift basket.

As we were shopping, I heard him slip several times, saying things like “that will be so cool.” and “I’m really going to like that.”

When I asked him what he was talking about, he answered with the classic 10-year-old dodge: “Nothin.”

Finally, I figured out what was going on. He and his friends had concocted an ingenious scheme. They would get their parents to buy stuff for what they considered to be the ultimate gift basket. Then they would completely hide everything in the basket.

I think they’re actually planning on covering it up with a plain cardboard box.

On basket night, no one will put tickets in the box for such a mysterious basket. No one except them, that is, which means that one of them will be winning all the cool stuff.

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