Skip to main content

Cut-throat Playground Entrepreneurs - Just Being Funny


I never really won anything cool or was the most popular person. Getting a shot the fourth-grade prize box because I had perfect attendance didn’t count. Any ole Joe can have perfect attendance; you just need parents who ride you and bus drivers who wait when they see you running.

One year some colorful plastic strings called Scoubidou appeared on the playground. Rebecca got some while away on vacation and weaved away her recess time.
After making the same snide remarks about teenagers playing with string like old women knitting in groups for the thousandth time, Rebecca challenged to stop hating. Making the simple two-strand square was a no-brainer. Same for the two-strand circle. Instead of quipping, the clouds parted in my hater heart and I could feel the glow of this wholesome activity radiating through my body. 


My brain screamed: MAKE ALL THE DESIGNS YE WITH GIFTED HANDS!


We invested in the string market. Rebecca handled the money bag and individual string sales. I doubled as security and fulfilled custom orders: giraffes, dogs, and hearts with initials inside. If you dreamed it, I weaved it. I was quick with it too, you would think I had a lil’ sweatshop back at my house. 


We had the premium-quality string. While others sold them at two for $0.25, Rebecca maintained that we would sell for double. That’s right! One string for $0.25. No credit. No checks. No layaways. No refunds!


Customers cried, complained, and some bold souls even tried to rob us. We were blessed and highly favored in this string hustle. No playground scam formed against us prospered. Psh, I was ‘securing the bag’ before people even knew there was one to secure.


The hustle was sweet and the bounty was plenty. We leveled up and got our connect in the Netherlands to send us even fancier string. Now we had an exclusive that eviscerated the competition: glitters and jumbo strong. These we sold for $0.50 a pop. 


Yeah, people were mad, but at the end of the day it was be salty or be trendy. Like bees in a trap they chose to be trendy. 


Art and money. My two favorite things after ice cream, naps, ankle socks, soft chocolate chip cookies, chilling at the dentist -- too literal? Oopsie.


Anyway, we took some designs down to my dad's restaurant. We shook down the tourists harder than a Girl Scout in second place to being top sales girl. 


We sold our creations for minimum $15 a piece. I was concerned about being pricey but our dads taught us about pricing for cost, labor, future investments, and profits. Such a precious thing fathers bonding with daughters.


We came and conquered. Most importantly, we exited before the market crashed. That year I was crowned the Scoubidou Queen by a local teen shop. I used the last of our inventory to create a jungle featuring all sorts of colorful animals and plants. 


For a girl who never won much, that was an epic winning streak.


Shout out to all my playground entrepreneurs who don’t let school administrators tax or regulate them.

What would you do? Tweet me using #JBFxOnicia


Created on St. Maarten. Based in Chicago. Onicia Muller (@OniciaMuller) writes, says funny things, and enjoys hanging with creative minds. Originally published in The Daily Herald's Weekender, Just Being Funny is a weekly reflection where Onicia laughs at life


Want more funny? Subscribe. Buy me ice cream. Share.

Popular posts from this blog

'The Haven' using Web Series to Launch Chicago TV Pilot - Women in Film

What do you do when you have an original TV pilot that explores a world and characters different from traditional Hollywood scripts? You do like Mia McCullough and Elizabeth Laidlaw and create a web series!
THE HAVEN is a web series covering an extensive period in the lives of the clients and staff of a domestic violence center. The staff forms the main cast. The clients are secondary characters. 

Web series is a great storytelling tool for exploring characters and worlds. Compared to a TV show, these short format made-for-the-web productions often require fewer resources to produce. These scripts, which are usually under 30 minutes/pages, allow screenwriters to tell stories by and about underrepresented communities. Best of all, the finished content is immediately available to that community — #RepresentationMatters. 

Mia and co-producer Elizabeth Laidlaw knew that if developed and produced in the traditional Hollywood/LA-focused system, the project would likely evolve into something t…

Winnifred Jong’s “Tokens on Call” is a Masterclass in Woke Storytelling - Women in Film

You know a series is great when you feel the same or more excitement when watching it a second time around. I had to wait about two years, but Tokens was worth the wait. Winnifred Jong’s Tokens is a masterclass in woke storytelling.

As a viewer, Tokens was a fun ride with lots of surprises and instantly lovable characters. Jong’s storytelling is educational without feeling like an afterschool special.

As a screenwriter, I was confronted with all the tired tropes that I’d picked up and unintentionally repeating in my work. Rewatching the series was a great study in how to flip the script on race and gender issues without being heavy-handed or preachy.

In the eight 5-minute episodes were featured multiple storylines that came together for a fresh and fun viewing experience. I wish there were more Bettys (Shelley Thompson) in the casting world.

After watching the series, I daydreamed about how much more exciting the storytelling world would be if there were more diversity in gender, rac…

Stories About Stories - Onicia Update - April 2019

I'm alive and writing. Since my last letter, I've been diligently collecting stories about stories. Confused? Let me explain.
Writing is more than the time spent actively stringing words together. Ideas are planted and explored during seemingly mundane activities within our daily lives; waiting at the bus stop, washing dishes, or even while zoning out during a sermon.
I started drafting a "Hey Onicia" about my story journey, the process of taking a project from idea to writing the first sentences of the first draft. I abandoned finishing that article because I don't want to block my creative flow by pausing to analyze the process when I'm knee deep in it. I would, but I've been dealing with tendonitis in both hands and therefore have to be intentional about how I use my hands. 
Shoveling mounds of ice cream? YES! Writing a newsletter? NAH! Shouting into the Twitter void? NAH! Writing letters to friends? YES!
So yeah,  tendonitis and other life changes ar…