The Cat Carrier Incident
A friend called and asked a favor. I’m not exactly the kind to give the shirt off my back so I was immediately wary and assumed a defensive stance. But it turned out all he wanted was to borrow our cat carrier. I said yes. I figured, what the hell.
What is it to actually be considerate of a person other than yourself? And why has this become such a lost art?
Recently it was the Fourth of July. As such, I had strongly considered keeping the cat carrier handy in case the asshole neighbor(s) shot fireworks at our house and set it ablaze. I wanted to be be disaster prepared and able to whisk my kitties away to safety at a moment’s notice.
Alas, I was afflicted by inertia and never got off my lazy ass to get the damn thing. I decided to roll the dice and play the odds. After all, my house wouldn’t burn down. Probably.
Abyss Christmas Gift Giving Guide 2014
It’s Christmas 2014 already. How the hell did that happen? Who has been playing with the time machine?
If it’s pitch black in the house by 5pm it must be time for me to get off my ass and start working on the Abyss Gift Giving Guide. Well, okay. I’ll give it a shot.
We were supposed to have flying cars by what? 2008? 1999? Where are they? Where are my flying cars? In the meantime, what else ain’t we got?
The following ideas are products of my fertile incontinent barren mind and may not yet be available in stores…
Thank god this has nothing to do with Microsoft.
Philanthropy: A Wing And A Prayer
The problem with money is that too much of it in one place creates wealth. (It’s easy to imagine if you try.)
Money, an imaginary construct born of the human mind, is better at some things than others. What it may be absolutely worst at, perhaps, is as a yardstick for measuring the worth of human beings.
My personal theory is that the more you have the less likely you are to be deserving of it. And that truly stratospheric acquisition of wealth doesn’t provide enough atmosphere to sustain life. That’s why those with that much wealth have skin that looks like the surface of the moon.
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Because You Ask
Because you ask, the answer is no. This is a friendly cousin of an old favorite, “Because, you wish it!” which I picked up from a happy-go-lucky Klingon Commander in the movie Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
It’s a simple policy I find to be remarkably effective.
For a limited time, I’ll explain how it works.
Step 1: Find someone to ask you for something. This usually isn’t too hard.
Step 2: Say “no.” The phrase “Because, you wish it!” is optional but provides a certain undeniable flair.
If you can’t find someone to ask for something, try going grocery shopping. 99% of the time (or so I theorize) the amount of your purchase will contain a fractional amount of dollars. (I’m in cents about that.) That’s when the happy-go-lucky clerk will loudly ask, for all to hear:
You’re not such a selfish sack of shit that you’re unwilling to “round up” for charity, are you? Huh, huh, huh? Greedo! I must be Han Solo because I’m firing first. I dare you to say no. It’s for “charity” and that’s always good, right? Am I right or am I right?
Listen, fuck face. I’m doing you a courtesy by shopping in your establishment. And you respond to that by trying to guilt me into some action that will ultimately make you look good?
I decided the best course of action is to carry an actual bottle of Roundup® Weed Killer on my belt. (Who says Monsanto can’t be handy?) When some snot nose practitioner of psychological warfare asks me if I want to “round up” I’ll happily reply, “Don’t mind if I do!” and spray that shit right in their face.
Human acute toxicity is dose related. Acute fatal toxicity has been reported in deliberate overdose. Epidemiological studies have not found associations between long term low level exposure to glyphosate and any disease.
Based on an assessment completed in 1993 and published as a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document, the EPA considers glyphosate to be noncarcinogenic and relatively low in dermal and oral acute toxicity. The EPA considered a “worst case” dietary risk model of an individual eating a lifetime of food derived entirely from glyphosate-sprayed fields with residues at their maximum levels. This model indicated that no adverse health effects would be expected under such conditions.
In June 2013, the Medical Laboratory in Bremen published a report that glyphosate was present in human urine samples from 18 European countries. Malta showed the highest test results with the chemical showing up in 90% of samples and the average for all countries was 43.9%. Diet was stated as the main source.
Thanks for the assist, Wikipedia! 🙂
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. “Won’t you round up that wee bit for charity?” That sounds a lot nicer than the reality: “Gimme some arbitrary amount of your cash for our cause that you know nothing about. Our admin costs are only 98%. Ha ha ha!”
Or, worse: “We’ll use this money to fight against you, your core beliefs, and every cultural warfare front on which you stand opposed.” On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be shopping at Chick-Fil-A and/or the Boy Scouts after all.
What’s wrong with asking for a little charity? Mainly that it makes it your decision and not mine. What could possibly be wrong with that? Only that I have absolutely no idea what my money will be used to support. Duh.
Recently a dude came to my door and asked for marriage equality support. That’s one of my pet causes. I gladly told him we already signed the petition when we enjoyed a “free” concert in the park. (Ha!) He said, “That’s great. I also need $60.”
“I don’t know who the hell you are.” Worse, the dude was a paid canvasser. Bothering me in my own home was his job. Somehow that rubs me the wrong way. It’s feels like spraying Monsanto on those alleged grass roots.
Long story short, me and the dude had a 45-minute conversation on my front porch and we connected. I ended up violating my own rule and giving him the oddly specific amount of $60. It didn’t hurt that this was a cause I believe in. What can guru say? Guru is often too nice.
A few weeks later, though, come to find out there are two different groups operating in the state, ostensibly for the same overall goal, but employing differing and contradictory strategies. Holy crap. Which group did I agree with? Which strategy did I end up “voting” for with my money? Did I agree with it? Or was I on the wrong side?
This is why giving to charity should be an outgoing decision, never incoming. Ever. To choose to do so is akin to voluntarily flushing your money down a toilet. Or worse.
So sell me my groceries and shut the hell up. I got hit by enough beggars just by walking into your store. That should have been my first clue, I guess.
This is a continuation of our ongoing series, “Tales of the Moved.” In this series we explore the strange new worlds of our life in the Big City. -Ed.
Leaving home in the big city is a slightly different experience than what we knew before. For one thing, people have no compunctions against asking you for money. They are absolutely shameless about it. The techniques and stratagems may differ in flair and style but most are variations on a theme. They generally start with eye contact.
With many excurions beyond the four walls under our belts we are truly coming to appreciate the little interactions with people we meet that do not involve a call to action (CTA) involving our wallets. These are precious and few and far between.
“How are you?” Oh shit. With a question like that you know there will be more to follow. This is already much more involved than the two-ships-passing-in-the-night head nod, which, to me, is as close as I wanna get.
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