The other day we were in HEB and God love them, the cashiers always ask Kaleb if he wants Buddy Bucks.
For those of you not familiar with HEB, it’s our main grocery store here in the south and at the register they have these things called Buddy Bucks which is fake money for the kids; more times than not, if the cashier sees that there is a kid in tow, they will ask if he or she would like some Buddy Bucks.
Once the Buddy Bucks are approved by the parent and handed over to said child, there’s a machine they can put them in (like a slot machine);the wheel spins, they push a button and it lands on however many points they earned.
That being said, the wheel will almost always land on like 1 point, 2 points or 5 points. Every so often, you’ll get a 20 pointer, but it’s not likely. The machine will spit out a *sticker* with the number points you earned and once you collect a MINIUM of THREE HUNDRED points, you can turn/mail in your *stickers* in for a “prize.”
First and foremost, it’s unreasonable to think that a small, non-school aged child will understand why or how any of this operates. THEY CAN’T ADD. THEY DON’T KNOW. Small children live and thrive on instant gratification. It's just how they do. How are they supposed to understand that they must collect 300 individual stickers, 1, maybe 2 at a time, before they get a prize?! Inside the machine are photos of the prizes they could potentially win, and once they have that image in their tiny little brain, they cannot let go of the fact they should be winning mini bottles of bubbles that have a picture of the HEB Buddy on it.
My second issue with this system is, what mom has her life together enough to keep up with all these fucking stickers?!? (and if you are that mom keeping up with these, don’t tell me because I’ll wanna punch you) I can barely keep up with real cash if on the off chance I even have any in my wallet. There is no way on God’s green earth that I’m going to keep up with 300 stickers. And we all know your 4 year old isn’t keeping up with them. Not to mention, these are children we are speaking of. CHILDREN. They are all obsessed with stickers!! They want to unpeel the damn thing and stick it EVERYWHERE. ALL THE BUDDY BUCKS STICKERS STUCK IN ALL THE PLACES BEFORE YOU REACH THE CAR! Or on their car seat. Or on the car itself.
My third, and possibly my final complaint, unless I think of another rampage to go on, is – WE ARE GROCERY SHOPPING. I just spent hours of my life, shopping for food that my kid won’t end up eating, I used my real monies to pay for all that food, my cart is overflowing with frozen shit that more than likely won’t withstand the Texas heat in the time it takes us to get home, there was no carry out person available to help and now, NOW, you want my child to have two pieces of fake money so we can stand at a machine that essentially gives no fucks about his or her happiness and my ability to stay sane with the meltdown that’s about to happen right there on the floor of the dirty grocery store???
Thank you Buddy Bucks. Thank you for all the wonderful things you are providing to our life.