PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Snarkentary Today)—School’s back in session, and that means school fundraisers are out in force, shaking the trees to raise money for everything from band uniforms to class field trips. But students at one Rhode Island middle school won’t be joining the throngs of cherub-faced kids going door-to-door, guilt-tripping their neighbors into purchasing rolls of ugly wrapping paper or migraine-inducing scented candles. That’s because Edgemont Middle School’s PTO has pulled off what school officials are calling a “record-breaking fundraiser,” raising all of the money needed to pay for the school’s new building in one campaign. Construction on the new school is set to start in the spring.
PTO president Gabby Murphy credits the successful fundraising campaign to the PTO’s partnership with artisanal cannabis cooperative, Growing Philosophers. “We are absolutely rolling in it,” she giggled. “Ha! See what I did there? Rolling in it. Get it? Do you? I am just cracking myself up today. Anyway, when word got out we were selling blunts, the orders just poured in. I think we had 100 percent parent participation on this fundraiser.”
Murphy is quick to point out that the PTO didn’t set out to become pot dealers. “Initially, we thought `growing philosophers’ was like a metaphor for learning,” she explains. “But the pot thing has worked out way better. WAY BETTER. Not only were parents eager to share the fundraising flyers with their friends and neighbors, but when we joined forces with the Marching Band, which was selling candy to purchase new uniforms, sales increased like 1000 percent. I’m telling you, pairing Fraggle Skunk Auto with a Snickers bar is the absolute bomb-diggity! This is really a win for the school and for the kids.”
“Plus,” Murphy added, before zoning out completely: “PTO is super mellow this year.”
AUGUST 17–A 10-year-old Orlando boy took Gold in the Fastest Loss of a CamelBak Water Bottle event, setting a new world record for losing TWO brand-new BPA-free bottles by the THIRD day of school.
Asked about this amazing feat, the 10-year-old had this to say: “Mom, I swear I put them in my backpack!”
Picking through the back-to-school remains at Target, the boy’s mother could not be prouder. “He’s been training his whole life for this,” she said, as she plucked two replacement bottles with Hello Kitty motifs from the leftovers bin. “He’s lost just about everything we’ve ever given him: shoes … sweaters … jackets … lunch boxes … my iPhone. This dual water-bottle loss was a personal best. But we’re sure he’s destined for even bigger things, like losing his backpack with all his homework. Now THAT would be special.”
Elementary school is about as diverse an ecosystem as you’ll find this side of the Peruvian rainforest. At the tip top of the food chain: the PTO Mom.
With her distinct markings — headband, pearls, Talbot’s sweater sets and, among some Northern breeds, the Hermes scarf, knotted just so — the PTO Mom is by far the bitchiest of the parent types you’ll encounter in the elementary school environment. The PTO Mom — sometimes also called the “Monarch” for her haughty posture and queenly attitude — may initially appear approachable but caution is advised. Her perfunctory smile, revealing perfect rows of cosmetically enhanced teeth, is intended to confuse and disarm potential challengers. In actuality, the PTO Mom is highly territorial and does not invite overtures from newcomers, who may come with ideas that clash with her own vision for the school’s PTO. Quick to anger when she believes her authority is being questioned … or when delegated tasks are not completed according to her precise directions, the PTO Mom is known to bite the heads off anyone unfortunate enough to be within striking range.
PTO Mom goes through four distinct phases as she evolves into the undisputed arbiter of classroom crafts, snack items, themed parties, teacher gifts and “appropriate” activities for the annual school festival. Let’s explore the PTO Mom’s life cycle.
Stage 1: Little Princess
PTO Mom begins life as a Little Princess. Perpetually self-absorbed, the Little Princess has the boundless energy to outlast anyone not predisposed to doing things her way and the lung capacity to pierce eardrums with her shrill demands. As the Little Princess matures, we can see the defining characteristics of the PTO Mom — a supercilious attitude and the expectation that all whims will be indulged — start to emerge.
Stage 2: Corporate Go-Getter
At this stage, which is marked by a singular focus to climb as high as possible on the corporate ladder, (while kicking out the rungs beneath her as she ascends) the PTO Mom’s keen understanding of organizational hierarchy evolves, and her expectation that she is there to plan and delegate and others are there to do her bidding (while she goes for a mani/pedi) develops fully.
Stage 3: Bridezilla
Once the Corporate Go-Getter is ready to reproduce, she morphs into the next stage, what entomologists call the larval or Bridezilla stage. This stage can last as long as it takes the “fucking dressmaker to get the goddam dress fucking right. Who does fucking Vera Wang think she fucking is? And, by the way, who … the … FUCK … chose red roses for my fucking bouquet? How fucking cliche is that? I. Fucking. Hate. It!”
At the end of this stage, the Bridezilla encases herself in white cloth, often satin or tulle, to undergo her final transformation.
Stage 4: PTO Mom Emerges!
The PTO Mom (or Monarch) is now fully mature and ready to use her finely honed corporate management skills to dominate the PTO.
On occasion, a mature PTO Mom may need to challenge a previously established PTO Mom to determine who will achieve dominance over that particular territory. The new PTO Mom may also need to battle and defeat other up-and-comers vying for the same top spot. But once established at the top of the parent pecking order, the new PTO Mom will typically dominate her territory until her own offspring age out of elementary school.
Defeated Moms, not completely broken in battle, often seek out other territories to dominate, such as individual classrooms and the myriad extracurricular activities their offspring participate in.