Would You LIke To Donate To The Poor?

A question that is asked at our supermarket and DIY store checkouts every day. Oddly enough, the people or signs that ask it never really know how our spare change is actually going to be routed to the downtrodden – the answer they give when asked is invariably evasive.

It is not a new phenomenon. My parents were sponsors for a Korean orphan in the 1950’s – a young person supposedly named Park Chun Bok. They sent off money monthly to a charity that was meant to be feeding and educating the young person. I don’t know about food, but eventually some education was forthcoming – my folks found out through magazine journalism that the find they were paying into siphoned off about 80% of the money for ” administrative costs “.

Is this the case with all charitable contributions? One would hope not, but still…when you get a begging letter through the post – as I did this week – asking for money to support what is patently someone’s political ambitions…well, you start to wonder. It is at times like this that I wish we had a chip heater for our bath water to use up the spare paper and cardboard.

Do I ever give charity money? Not as much as once I might…but I still have some respect for several organisations. These are pretty self-effacing ones and do not live high on the hog. They just spend the charity money on the poor.

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The Handfull Ob Gimmee

This used to be accompanied by de mouth full of Much Oblige’. I met many people who could do the routine perfectly. That decency seems to have gone by the boards lately – the gimmee is now the only thing that takes place.

It has, at least, streamlined the handling of the pan. I suppose it was a matter of efficiency – reducing the transaction to the basics; demand and supply – without pretending to a moral or social connection. In the hands of the government charity can be made cold, smooth, and mechanical – and like any cold, mechanical object it can lay dead to the touch. This must be a dreadful thing for those who actually need it – as opposed to those who take it for fun. If the latter might be miffed at their support being delayed or retracted, the former face real disaster.

My own experience of gimmee has been mostly one-sided – the support that health funds have afforded me in times of crisis were paid for with decades of premiums, good health, and no monetary return. I suspect I won the lottery of being healthy for the most part, but it seems like I should be complaining about it…Hmmm.

A recent brush with what purported to be charity but turned out to be bureaucracy and intrusion has convinced me that there is little to be expected from organisations – at least little that cannot be obtained with a revolver and a curt note thrust through the teller’s cage.

Other charities that ask for money based upon co-religion or implied guilt can go get stuffed. Particularly if their planned use of the money is gestures and theatre – I can mewl and puke for myself at a much reduced cost.

 

 

Combatting Evil, One Tin Of Caviar At A Time

Here at the headquarters of The Australian League Of Virtuousness we have a motto:

” One Born Every Minute, And Five Born To Administer Them ”

It is engraved on the doorpost of the entrance*, and again on the lintel across the entrance. It is embossed on every chair in the visitor’s lounge, every place at the director’s 20 metre mahogany dining table, and every stall in the Executive Washroom. Nothing will wash it away, though, God knows, we’ve tried. Especially after Champagne Night.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not decrying the basic sentiment – it is just that it limits the number of divisions into which the contributions might be made. What do we do if we engage more staff members. The motto specifies five, but there is room in the stretch limo for more…and Bubbles, Brandi, and Trixie promise to be tireless workers in the cause.

I think that we need to take a broader view…and I have a black book full of broads’ names to hand. There is no sense restricting our activities to just the poor or downtrodden. The rich and arrogant are also in need of virtuousness and can afford to purchase a better quality product – or at least a lot more of it. We have contacted Kargotich transport for a quote on their high-capacity dumper trailer to haul more virtuousness as there is bound to be a saving in bulk. As yet the council has not replied to our enquiry about whether it is legal to dump it on the verge.

Goodness and mercy have often been said to follow the virtuous and this may very well be so. To that end we are suggesting that members of The League take sensible precautions and change their mode of transport and route frequently to elude pursuit. It is no good getting complacent about this sort of thing – if you are always kind and helpful you are one day going to be caught out at it and then where are you. Canonized, most likely. And some of those canons have a fierce recoil.

*   At an angle of 45º.

 

Our Prayers And Thoughts Are With The People Of…

Of wherever the latest horror has surfaced.

The Australian League Of Virtuousness scans the world’s press daily looking for the worst atrocities, natural disasters, repressions, tyrannies, scandals, and sports results. We have teams of dedicated memeists ready 24/7 to rush a soothing coloured filter or image of a candle onto the pages of social media as soon as the debris stops falling from the smoke cloud.

Note: We do regret posting the candle and picture of a guiding lantern as a response to the great Fire of Chicago. Also the photo of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was a mistake.

We are also ready to collect canned goods, canned money, blankets, woolen money, old clothes, old money, and any other money needful for these occasions. The fact that we then distribute it to the members of The League for their use at the beach house over the holidays is neither here nor there. We give the public a chance to be charitable and a place to be charitable at. And beach houses can be desolate places at times.

We are not judgemental about the amount of charity that people can give is – we are as happy to take the widow’s mite as we are to take the iron-ore mining tycoon’s million dollars. We just adjust the difference by calling round the widow’s place a little more often with a little more forceful approach. It all adds up to the same in the end.

Don’t let yourself be fooled that all of the money goes in administrative costs, either. A lot of it goes on liquor and paid companions, and this has nothing at all to do with administration. We also maintain strong presents in the United Nations to ensure the smooth running of the political machinery. And we wrap those presents, too.

Remember that now is the time to give, and give again. Give until it hurts. We feel your pain, and we will think of you and pray that it continues.

 

 

 

The Free Bees

Charity is when A gives to B unasked and C never hears about it.

Publicity is when A gives to B and tells C all about it.

Mendacity is when A gives B something from C and lets B think that it is from both A and C. And then lets D, E, and F know it, but forgets C altogether.

I do not know the correct English term for the circumstance where A takes C’s money, uses it for administrative expenses, gives nothing to B, and tells D, E, and F how charitable A is. I think there must be a name, but I just now it escapes me.

My vocabulary is not as extensive as I could wish…

 

 

 

The Free Ride

I am not sure how much of my life has been a free ride. It is not a subject that I go much into, though I am sure that there are people who would wish me to do so, and to feel guilty for it. Not going to happen – I have real things to feel guilty for and I reserve my remorse for them.

But back to the freebie. Was my childhood a free existence? Well, I got fed, clothed, housed, and educated for free. And well, I might add. Part of it was my parents’ doing, part of it was state or provincial government. I guess you could say it was ultimately all upon my parents and their tax dollars. And I started to paid it back 30 years later with the birth of my daughter.

I got to live in a free democracy, and that was likely the parents and grandparents again – through their selection of a good place to live and vigorous defence of it. And now we live in Australia and it is also a good and free place.

I got a free car when I was 18, but this was also a free car I paid for with high school work and abstinence from guns, drugs, girls, alcohol, and all other cars until that point. Then I was adjudged sufficiently stable to be trusted with a four-cylinder Renault. The car lasted me 7 years and was sold away when I got married. It did not survive the second owner’s poor driving skills, but my marriage is still going strong 45 years later. I regret selling the car but would not exchange it for the wife…

Note: the wife sold her new MGB at the same time to go overseas with me. We BOTH regret not putting it up on blocks and waiting until we came back from England in less than a year…

My daughter also got a free car from me when she was 18, and it served her well for 20 years. It is parked as a blockship in the car port of my studio.

Free employment? Not a bit of it. I bought every bit of equipment for my surgery – and had to pay cash for it as I was a new practitioner. I used it for over 30 years and got value  – some of my old student gear is in my hobby workshop organising tools and making scale models. I’m STILL getting value from a clinical cabinet bought in 1968!

Free house? well, actually yes – two of them. Our family had enough money for my parents to build their own little dream home and hand the old one they owned to me and the wife. Then that little dream home passed to me with their passing and became The Little Studio. It will go to my daughter, along with the family home we built in the 80’s. I think this is only right – I’m certainly getting my fun out of it all.

Free car now? Hah. Nothing about a car is free anymore. The best that can be done is to choose something that is the least size and cost that will actually accomplish what you need to do and then keep the running costs down. Driving at or under the speed limit is a good start.

Free food? Well, we could grow our own, except we don’t want to. But we have certainly discovered that you can eat cheaper at home than out at the restaurants. By a factor of 5x to 10x.

Free electricity? The roof is covered in panels and I daresay they do throw back electricity to the grid that is taken off our consumption, but it seems to have been an encouragement to leave lights and fans on and I think it all works out even in the end.

Free water? Free sewage removal? Free rates? You might as well ask for Free Willy.

 

The Heart Of Sympathy

bleeding-heart

The second award to be instituted by the Backstabbers Guild of Australia this year is intended to recognize the tireless efforts on the part of members who wish to be seen as sympathetic to those less fortunate than they*. This is stirring stuff, and with a large spoon, too.

The Heart Of Sympathy has been likened to the American award for wounds in combat – the Purple Heart. This has sometimes been derided by the uninformed, and sometimes by the uniformed, but it is recognition that some people do put themselves into danger and then don’t duck fast enough. What is forgotten is that other armies do the same; the French award citizenship to some soldiers who have been wounded for France and the British award…that is to say they award…okay, they don’t award anything. But you have to remember that this is perfectly consistent with their policies regarding equipping and feeding their troops.

The Heart of Sympathy will most often be awarded to social media postings that cry for the poor. Urging others to donate money to governmental or private aid agencies will also count toward the award, though if the directors of any charities are found to be holidaying in Mauritius more than 8 times a year some points may have to be deducted. No deductions are made if all the money collected goes to pay the administrative costs because this is precisely the basis upon which the annual Backstabber’s Stiletto Appeal is conducted. We are venal, not hypocritical.

A question arose in the Guild Council meeting as to whether this award would also be presented past-dated or posthumously. As appealing as this may seem, we are saddened to say that our hearts bleed that we cannot do it. As a matter of Guild policy, the only thing we ever present to a grieving family is an invoice.

  • Oddly enough very few people are sympathetic to those who are better off than they are.

Note: The Heart Of Sympathy is plastic, transparent, and cheap. A lesson to us all…