For the record, Have Chainsaw Will Travel (and the writer thereof) has no qualm with, nor holds any ill will towards, charity organizations, charitable donations, charitable acts, chairs or tables, collecting for a good cause and those whom collect for said good causes. However, there comes a point…
Being the anti-holiday-social type, most of my X-mas shopping is done online, eBay preferred, with Amazon ready on standby. It saves the hassle of searching from store to store for out of stock items. Avoids the crowded stores filled with mindless shoppers, wandering around aimlessly, trying to decide on what gift to buy for someone who might give them one. However, despite my internet deal-finding prowess, there are always certain items which are just easier to go out and buy. Usually the acquisition of these gifts is consolidated to one well organized and planned out day of madcap shopping and be done with it. This usually goes off without a hitch, unless something disrupts the space-time holiday shopping continuum. Such was the case…
We were at the mart of wall, which is a strange name for a store with so much open space and so few walls available for purchase. Back of the store, toy section, aisle 27B, Hot Wheels assorted vehicles and playsets. So what is the real difference between the “Ultimate Garage” and the “Super Ultimate Garage?” Well aside from one being just “ULTIMATE” it seems that the “SUPER” one comes with a jet plane, big monkey and a pterodactyl (it really does). Our decision of whether or not a plastic flying dinosaur really merited an extra SUPER 70 bucks was interrupted by shouting from the back aisle.
A rather bulky fellow (no stranger to the gym), who we assumed was some type of youth minister, was leading a caravan of teenagers pushing shopping carts. He would pause periodically, yank an item from the shelf and loudly proclaim, “I found another one! Look at this! What a deal! This is going to make some child very happy this Christmas!” His every action was being recorded by a guy following along with a cell- camera thingie… for posterity’s sake? As the ego-mantic Christian charity parade came past, we were pushed to the side and then trapped on the aisle. The fun was sucked out of our shopping experience. It was annoying, distracting, loud and inconsiderate. What if we all ran through the store yelling? For a moment I debated on shouting myself (I am very much loud) and proclaiming- “Look! It’s the HOT WHEELS SUPER ULTIMATE GARAGE!!! It comes with a jet, a giant monkey guy and a f***ing PTERODACTYL!!! It will…” Lil Red saw “the look” and hastily led me away from the toy section. We weren’t the only ones driven out and checking out ahead of schedule.
Regressing now, I am certain (well, skeptically positive) that that display of…whatever it was, was for a good cause. Little kids, who might otherwise do without this holiday season, getting something cool and fun under their X-mas tree. You can be certain that regardless of the intentions behind the act it will put bright smiles on little faces… but at what price?
Yes, I know — a smile on the face of a happy child is priceless. And yes, we should all try to make more of those happen…damn it. I’m losing my ranting steam on this because I am arguing against happy children. My God…I truly am…a monster. No, no I’m not against making children happy during the holidays. It’s all the charity that’s ticking me off! And that just sounds so much better.
OK screw it! Let’s cut to the chase and just say what everybody else is afraid to admit- there’s too much charity! And no matter how I word that. I feel guilty. But seriously the blood red bucket-teers now literally block the entrance to every store front. Once inside there’s donation boxes for everything. Then once you reach the register (and after yet another time-burning, join our store’s rewards club card pitch and get a stuffed puppy head) they want you to buy a gift box, donate a dollar or give your change to the “help save the domesticated baboon cross dressing fund.” Hey, tell you what; you really wanna make a difference? Then just donate my purchases to me, because that would really help the ME fund. We’re a small organization of one and your donation would put a smile on the face of a happy child…we’re all kids at heart, right?
All right, you can stop being shocked and wishing eternal damnation upon me. Because if that’s what you’re feeling, then you’re reading this all wrong. I’m only a monster when monsters are called for. This isn’t a rant out of anger… it’s one out of fear…for all of us. Humor aside, it seems every day there’s a new cause to contribute to, a new battle to be fought. This means everyday there are more people needing help. This means everyday something else has gone wrong in our world. How long before we reach the point where no one can help anyone else because everybody needs help?
So what do we do? How do we stop this vicious growing cycle? We do what we can, when we can, without becoming a charity case ourselves. And whenever possible, when time comes to collect, give generously. Your spare change might not only put a smile on a child’s face; it may be the extra little push needed to save the world.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can FRIEND me on Facebook under Saw’s Brood!
Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!