It's that time of year again when my Supervisor, (I can't call him "boss" since I haven't really listened to him in about two years), does his annual charity drive. "Bill" is a very nice guy, and very much into the whole God thing. Relatively harmless about it, as I beleive I've mentioned before.
At any rate, round about Christmas time, which I'm told has something to do with Jesus being born and all the merchandise in the area surrounding Bethlehem immediately being marked down 40%, his sect, (church, temple, cult, whatever), does a drive for African kids who otherwise wouldn't get any presents. The fact that they wouldn't get any presents because they're not Christian seems to have escaped them, but let's not let the little details in the way of charity.
The drive functions by distributing shoeboxes. He brings in a bunch and anyone who wants to can take as many as they like and fill 'em up with appropriate gifts. In the past I've suggested that cigarettes and bullets would be the most appropriate thing to send to these kids, but I'm told we can't do that. Seems a shame, as those items have largely taken over as hard currency in the areas these boxes are ostensibly going.
As always, I've taken my two boxes and headed off to the usual locale to fill them up. Family Dollar Store. There's nothing to get you in the Christmas spirit quite as effectively as spending a few minutes in a store where the entire staff can't wait to go home, get the car in the garage, shut the door, and then sit there for a few hours with the engine running until the sweet release of death allows them to never go into the Family Dollar Store world ever again. I've seen happier people at wakes. At the center of the room.
I wander about the store, looking for the kind of items an African kid between 5-9 would like. Unfortunately, they seem to be out of immunization shots, stable democracy and clean running water, but they do have soap, paint brushes, and shitloads of gum. And now little Ngoni' will have that too. Along with a lot of hard candy, since we can't send any chocolate, because it will melt all over the notepads we sent for his school work. I bet that kid fucking hates us. "Hey great, the Americans sent soap and lollipops again. Terrific. Can't wait to show my friends what I got."
This year I crammed an umbrella in there too. I really hope this stuff is going to a rainforest region and not a drought area, or else I'm really going to look like an asshole.
There were two women in front of me at the cash register. The first was holidng up the line while she paid by check. AT THE DOLLAR STORE!! It was all I could do not to throw five dollars at her and scream "JUST LEAVE". The one directly in front of me was even better. Sort of cute in a methedrine addict kind of way. Picture Evangeline Lilly if she's been on a two-week tweaking binge, rolled down a hill covered with rocks and thorns, and then stumbled into the dollar store where she's buying one bag of lollipops so the sugar rush keeps her going. Now make her hop from one foot to the next while she waits for the genius at the front to finsih balancing her check book after writing a check for $4. Now picture me behind her thinking about the best way to write this for your Thursday reading pleasure.
Now just picture Evangeline Lilly naked. It's got nothing to do with the story, but it's a better image than me stuck behind a speed freak in a dollar store.
I hope those kids like gum.