Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

The Holiday Charity Heart Attack

Sunday, December 22, 2013

this entry brought to you by sleater-kinney, "you're no rock n' roll fun"

Usually when I walk past a Salvation Army volunteer outside a store ringing a bell I stop and give, but there's something about them standing out in front of the store I worked at that made me not think about it at all. It probably had to do with the fact that I saw them every day for that two week period, and they just became a fixture. Maybe I had a feeling enh, I'll get them tomorrow.

Either way this particular time I was rushing inside, this time to shop, not to work, and I rushed right past the guy outside ringing the bell.

"Hey! My man!" the guy called out to me.

I stopped, feeling that guilt in my stomach, ashamed to look him in the eye.

"Help the needy this Holiday season?" he asked.

"Alls I have is a hundred," I said, speaking the truth, shrugging.

"I can break a hundred!" he said. I eyed him suspiciously. "If you got a hundred, I can break a hundred!" he repeated.

I looked at him. He beamed. I frowned. He tipped his tray over a little so I could see inside, and there were wads and wads of cash.

I stepped forward and hesitated. His smile turned from friendly to even friendlier. His smile had turned so wide, in fact, that it had gone from untrustworthy, to trustworthy, back to untrustworthy again.

I'm going to get ripped off, I thought. This is a scam. On the other hand, he'd been there the day before, and the day before that-- it was clear he wasn't going anywhere, especially not before the holidays were over. On a good day, surely he got hundreds of dollars. While getting a single hundred at a single time would be a big deal in terms of ripping people off, clearly if he was a scam artist who, I don't know, stole a Salvation Army bucket and stood outside my store, surely ripping me off wouldn't be a big enough deal to be worth doing. Surely it would make more sense to stay under cover and to continue getting money all day, as a scam artist, than stealing my hundred and running off right in front of me.

He beamed at me.

I gave up, reached in my pocket and handed my hundred to him in one smooth motion.

"Alright!" he cheered. "Allllriiiiight, my man. How much we giving today? You wanna give one buck? I got 99 dollars for you. Just don't tell me 50 cents, because I don't wanna be digging out no nickels and dimes."

"Five dollars," I said, feeling giving now that I'd actually decided this was going to happen.

"Five dollars! God bless," he said, and he reached into the bucket and started silently counting 95 dollars. "You want to count it? I ain't going nowhere."

I had counted it while he had, and told him it wasn't a big deal. He thanked me, and started ringing his bell.

I felt good at this moment, but not twenty seconds prior I was having a Holiday Charity Heart-Attack.

with love from CRS @ 12:47 PM 


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