With four kids in school,  it seems like my wife and I are constantly selling fund raising merchandise. It hasn't reached the point when our friends and family run screaming when they see us, but I sense that it's close.

World's Finest Chocolate, Bot Scout Popcorn, cookie dough, wrapping paper, sports cups, Christmas wreaths and trees, frozen foods. You name it, my kids have sold it.

Or I should say, my wife and I have sold it.

Be it school or youth activities, they all have fundraising merchandise for sale, and most of the time it's the parents that become the shill. At my job, we all have a kind of reciprocal agreement with this kind of stuff. I buy something from your kid, you buy something from mine and it all evens out, everybody's happy.

Or as it happens to be the case with some of my co-workers, our kids attend the same school and sell the same stuff. In that instance, the "Sorry, but I have to buy it from my own kid " rule comes into effect. No harm, no foul.

Let's see. My 17-year-old is selling candy bars to fund a trip overseas this summer. So is my eight-year-old Cub Scout, when he's not selling popcorn. My 15-year-old is selling cookie dough for her service club at school, while my 11-year-old Girl Scout is selling cookies. Make no mistake, people love these things, but they can't afford to buy it all. Someday the polite turn down will turn into an icy rejection or a very impolite email or two.

So when you see me with the latest goodies for sale to benefit my child's school or activity, don't feel obligated. I'll be back soon with something else, and I'll wear you down sooner or later.