Y'know, I love to support good causes... The Fire Department's Scholarship Fund, The State Troopers Hero Fund, The Police Athletic League, and a host of others have me on speed-dial for the big pony-up. Then I double spread the good karma by giving away the tickets to the magic shows and circuses that I get for my support so I can't deduct it. Further support goes to several other charities which sell 'products' that are made by disadvantaged and/or disabled people. What can I say? Ol' Bobo went through some hard times back in the old days, and he likes to give back. This pleases me.
So every now and then I pay exorbidant fees for products under the auspices that the doubtless high profits go to giving a leg up to those that are where I was not so long ago. I mean, really, so I paid $25 for a corn whisk-broom that was reportedly built by the blind veterans. Or $75 for a couple hundred trash bags of flimsy quality that didn't even fit my trashcans... Or $25 for a pair of super-shears that I see at the DOLLAR store JUST after the check clears. I even pay $5 for a dozen tiny cookies when the Girl Scouts come around. Like I said, money's only dirty paper, and it's a little less dirty when it does something good.
That said, let me state that there's a growing movement of profiteering that's masking itself as 'good causes'. I'd been suspecting it for some time, but wasn't really sure enough to climb onto my soapbox until recently. The Red Cross's disgraceful flub with the influx of donations to the victims of the New York Attack; coupled with several instances of 'relief funds' springing up for the support of these victims', soaking up a flood of donations and then disappearing into the ether has practically gotten my blood boiling.
Creatures are using our goodwill as a con. I refuse to even call such troglodytic mendicants 'people', because they've been known to employ CHILDREN in their schemes... I know you've seen it. Several kids at busy intersections with cans trying to garner contributions to something that's supposed to 'keep them out of trouble', such as youth sports, drill teams or similar. Am I the only person that thinks this is fucked up? I actually had this exchange once:
Kid: Mister, would you please make a donation to our drill team for uniforms?
Bobo: Sure. What's the name of the team?
Kid: Uuuuhhh... What?
Bobo: The name. What's the name of the drill team I'm contributing to?
Kid: I... uh...
Bobo: Oops, light's green.
Bobo: You're fired.
The only thing that irks me more than this sort of thing in depressed neighborhoods is this sort of thing in AFFLUENT ones. For crying out loud, Mom and Dad can get a $500,000+ house and two SUV's and can't scrape together enough to put little Jeffrey in football pads? SPARE ME.
Before you start in, let me say that I accept that certain fundraising efforts are good, and teach kids the valuable lessons of working toward a goal and working in general. I've gotten my car washed up to three times a week some summers. Hell, I've even paid the odd buck more than a few times for the 58 cent candybars that the kids would sell towards their goal of attending the Jamboree or whatever. That is an exchange, and proper. Goods or services for legal tender. It's when they start in just asking for the dough because they 'need' it that irritates me.
I've actually seen a little girl (10-12 years old I'd guess) OUT BY HERSELF in front of a department store with her school uniform on and a can asking if I would like to contribute to her Catholic education... No, kid, and I'd REALLY like to give your shit-for-brains mom a good shake by the scruff of the neck for putting you up to this. I went to Catholic school (which might explain a few things to some), and we weren't rich by any stretch. We just sacrificed. Did without. But I digress... God forbid you not have a goddamned Playstation2 just because your folks didn't budget in for you to go to St. Addelbrained. Start the telethon and I'll call Jerry! Springer.
In all honesty, I've been out there on busy intersections myself trying to drum up support for DAD's Day, which is the fundraiser the union partakes in to benefit the American Diabetes Foundation, but the difference is that I am a grown man that is fully aware of the danger involved should Gunther McFastlane careen off the ramp at me doing 75, or some jackass decides that the bucket of change in my hand would get him A LOT closer to paying for his next buzz. Both of these things happened, folks, and since the statute of limitations hasn't run out yet, I'll not go into detail on how it went for either case beyond, well, BADLY. Point is, I'm considered a pretty imposing physical specimen to you human types and I -still- got tried. Think a KID could deal with the same thing if it happened to them? No, clearly not.
Let's not even START on the sick, twisted, scum chickenhawks that would think a kid out on the highway fundraising is easy meat. "Suuuure, I can donate for you, honey, just hop in and we'll go to the MAC machine. Saaaaay, that's a NICE uniform..."
Folks, I'm not a hard-hearted individual by any means. Sure, I've been known to do terrible, horrible things to people, but they tend to deserve much worse than a few measly broken fingers and a 3/4" spade-bit nibbling the kneecaps and are darn lucky to not incur worse than what they get when it's time to reap the whirlwind that is the Wrath Unholy of the Angel of Death... Most... EXALTED, but I digress.
Maybe next time they won't exploit kids standing in the hot sun begging in order to provide them their little windfalls.
So to conclude, if your kid is wanting to be or already is involved with something you really can't afford... STOP it. Better the little tyke is sulking in his room now than on a milk carton later, and if you need ME to fucking spell THAT out for you then I strongly suggest putting them up for adoption. Not now, but RIGHT NOW.
You're welcome. See you SOON.