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August 31, 2018

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Patricia A. Kelly

Just a note to all the charities and political organizations to whom I have contributed this year: Hi there. I know I am naive, but, in working out a budget this year, I decided to give you my annual contribution at the beginning of the year, so I could take one more thing off my plate, and not worry about you throughout the year.

 

In response to my contributions, you have bombarded me all year with letters, pamphlets, offers to enter me into your special contributor rolls, chances on a free lunch, sleazy free gifts, and horrifying stories about your continued desperate need for my financial support. Thank you so much.

 

Now, just so you know, I put your mail straight into the recycling bin, delete your emails without reading them, and generally know less about what you’re up to than I did before I donated.

 

I donated to you, and the reward for my good deed was for you to spend my money sending me stuff instead of using it for your cause. Thanks so much. I’m not only grateful, but “so” inspired to give more.

 

Johns Hopkins Hospital, which I now visit all too frequently, leaves wheelchairs in their parking garages and around their doors so people with handicaps can be assisted in by their families. These now redesigned wheelchairs are huge, partly in tribute to our obesity epidemic. You must line them up multiple times to manipulate them through doorways. They are very heavy, and no longer fold so you can store them out of the way in exam or bathrooms.

 

Why is this? It’s because recipients of the hospital’s largesse steal them. Thanks, fellow transporters. You are so awesome.

 

CVS Pharmacy offers little plastic baskets you can carry around the store to fill with your purchases – for customer convenience. In my local store, instead of being kept conveniently near the door, these are now secured behind the sales counter. Now you must request one from the clerk. Yes, that person at the end of the long line. Wonder why.

 

And how about Paula Deen, cooking queen and host of her own television empire? When accused of racial prejudice, Paula made the mistake of doing the right thing. She admitted to using the “N” word 18 years before, while denying the general prejudice charge.

 

Let’s see. A southern woman of a certain age used the “N” word two decades ago, and her reward for being honest about it was to be drummed off the air by the politically correct people of the current day.

 

How about the convenience of individual food containers, single use cans and bottles, not to mention cigarettes and their disposable packaging?

 

The reward for that convenience is not finding them placed in recycling bins or trash cans, but rather everywhere from the grounds of state and national parks to downtown streets. To add to this, some cities, London, for example, no longer provide the convenience of public trash cans in areas where people are likely to congregate. That’s because of the risk that this convenient item will end up holding a terrorist bomb.

 

How terrible would it be to take that little piece of trash with you to deposit at home?

 

I once evicted a tenant, and, my naiveté and kindness showing again, allowed him, begging as he was, to store his furniture until he could break the lock on my storage unit and retrieve it.  During the eviction, I heard him ask his wife: “Aren’t you going to take your clothes?” Her answer: “No, I can just get new ones.”

 

The next time they were evicted, they sued the landlord, claiming that a defective floorboard caused her to fall as they were moving out.

 

Just want to say again, thank you to all of you who reward people’s kindness, their efforts to be caring and do the right thing, with cigarette butts, spittle, trash, half eaten food (although the flies certainly benefit), used condoms, job loss, and even lawsuits.  You’ve helped the rest of us perfect our personal discipline as we resist grabbing you by the shirt fronts and slapping you silly.

 

We can count to one thousand now before taking action. We’ve learned to step carefully, in our words, and into the very small spaces left on the sidewalks. Thank you and thank you again.

 

Odd how so many of you think we’re not giving enough.

 

patriciaklly@aol.com

 



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