Head back to the classroom in style

Are your kids going back to school next month?

If the answer is yes, you can go to bed tonight in the secure knowledge that you are contributing to the national economic recovery.

Contributing in a big way!

Recent statistics indicate that shoppers will spend nearly $38 billion (that’s with a B not a M) on back to school items this year.

However, the business community is somewhat disappointed in the figure because it is just a 1 percent increase from what was spent last year.

I’ll tell you what, you folks better check those stock portfolios to see if your holdings in T.J. Maxx and The Gap haven’t taken a dramatic down turn because gas prices remain high and people continue to be frugal allowing only a few of those green rectangular-shaped pieces of paper with pictures of famous Americans on them to escape from their wallets.

Give me a break!

In previous columns I’ve discussed terminology used to describe cash, loot and money but $38 B is a whole bunch of bucks — any way you want to look at it.

If you have kids who are any older than say age 7, you know darn good and well those snazzy new school clothes that took so long to shop for will be worn for about a week, maximum, before the little darlings go back to wearing the same style of attire they did last year.

Parents of school-age kids know exactly what I mean. Frayed cuff jeans with the knees blown out and rips down the sides, an old T-shirt whose next stop is a rag and a pair of ratty, grass-stained sneakers. Your basic “Salvation Army Poster Child” look.

Don’t get me wrong, kids aren’t stupid. Who wants to wear good stuff to school all the time and run the risk that some of that yummy cafeteria food gets spilled on the new duds?

A splash of something truly taste tempting (yet government approved) like that artificially colored macaroni and cheese that is the same hue as a school bus. The stuff is probably toxic to some degree and if you get any of it spilled on you, the stain will never come out. You’ll be walking around campus looking like somebody smashed a ripe dandelion on your shirt or pants.

Clothing-wise some things never change and if they do, it’s usually a gradual process.

A few years ago some friends and I, being in a philosophical mood at the moment, decided that the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) would never attain legitimacy until it began selling clothing products on a large scale.

Think about it. How many women have you seen wearing Jason Kidd or Carmelo Anthony replica jerseys, or Los Angeles Lakers or Miami Heat warm up jackets?

Shoot, you still see Chicago Bulls jackets being worn every now and then from back in the Michael Jordan era.

A couple of weeks ago something truly remarkable happened.

Candace Parker cracked the top 10 in jersey sales surpassing LeBron James and even Kobie Bryant.

Brett Farve jerseys are still the top seller and sales will probably increase even more now that the greatest quarterback in the history of the game is a member of the New York Jets.

Now collectors and fans alike will be clamoring for one of the old green and yellow Green Bay Packers jerseys in addition to one of his new ones.

But Candace Parker? Who is that you ask.

Ms. Parker is a rookie basketball player on the roster of the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA and was drafted from the University of Tennessee where she played college ball.

She was the first woman to dunk in a college game (she did it twice) and the first to dunk in an NCAA tournament.

Parker capped those feats off this season by being the first WNBA player to slam dunk in a regular season game.

In case anyone is wondering she wears jersey number 3, so get out there and buy!

But watch out for macaroni and cheese or dandelions.

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