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Posts Tagged ‘okay okay it was me — i used to answer “i want to eat the children!” — i’m sorry!’

NTKOG #113: The kind of deeply altruistic girl who floods the streets with her tears for orphans, kittens, orphaned kittens, etc., then writes checks to ballast her compassion.

I am: too broke to make more than one or two carefully considered contributions a year.

I am not: virtuous enough to make the sacrifices that would allow me to give more. Regret to inform, I’m more or less pulling a solid B+/A- in “being a basically good human being”.

The Scene: The little town square across the street from my work in the pouring rain last Wednesday. Weather forecasters had called for several inches of snow (never showed up) and we were all grimly excited about the blizzard; no greeting was complete without a “whew, it’s going to be a rough one”.

As I walked past, a Save The Children volunteer beckoned me near. His hair and beard were already plastered down to his face. I started my standard response: “I admire what you’re doing, but I’m just really broke,” and the guy smiled at me like I’d just bought his mom a new car.

“Don’t worry about it!” he grinned. “I don’t need money. Just thirty seconds of your time.” When you look at the words they seem banal, but his face was limpid and radiant — even as water flumed down the side of his nostrils he remained serene as a mountain, transparent and bottomless as a freshwater pool. Even his face moving to form words looked like nothing more than the wind rippling sweet meadow grasses. Real Pocahontas-style voodoo shit, is what I’m saying, and I knew immediately that he was deeply religious but one of those dudes who never brings it up unless you ask and doesn’t think you’re going to hell, not even if you have sex with robots and punch foreign dignitaries.

He gave me a lightning-round history of Save The Children, talked about their low corporate overhead, showed me pictures of some kids in the Congo, then checked his watch. Exactly thirty seconds.

“Dude,” I smiled at him. “I’ll bet people are awful to you sometimes, aren’t they? I always see people shouting, ‘Save the children? I want to eat the children!’ and stuff like that.”

“Oh, I love those people!” he grinned with genuine enthusiasm. “When they tell me they want to eat the children, I ask them to come over and swap recipes with me. When they tell me they hate the children, I say I’ll sell them a black market slave child! You just can’t take yourself too seriously. I love those people.”

I don’t know what happened but somehow, magically, my Visa was in my hands. As the man took my information, he told me about atrocities in the Congo and what the program’s money was doing. And, I dunno, a particle of dust must have wormed its way in or something, ’cause my eyes started to emit a transparent salty liquid.

After he handed me back my form and card, and had thanked me a few times, I took one last look at his drenched skin and clothes. Really sucks having to be out in this weather all day, I told him — and what about when the blizzard hits?

“Oh, we’re not supposed to be out here today. The company is closed. But I woke up excited this morning. I knew I had to come out here no matter how bad the weather was, just in case someone needed to hear what I had to say.”

Oh jesus. My eyes. They’re malfunctioning.

The Verdict: Made a one-time donation and have vowed to myself that if my temp job becomes permanent, I’ll set up a recurring monthly payment. Pretty psyched about the research I’ve done about this particular organization. That said, I take absolutely zero credit for pretending to be a good person on this one. This guy was a thinly disguised angel in Converse, and the next time I see him out there, I’m bringing him a cup of coffee to thank him for helping me keep my faith in people. And to warm him up ’cause, dude, it is cold out there to have a canvassing job.

This post too chipper for you? I know! Vom! Balance it out by checking out Secret Society of List Addicts and reading my list of phrases I would be perfectly okay never hearing again (and will punch you repeatedly if you say to me).

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