Starting Early

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starving

“I am literally starving, but I have to hold up this wall.”

I live in a wonderful small town. It has one independent coffee shop, for which I am grateful because most of our town is choppers and mullets – we’re basically poor white trash, and before you get in a twist, I am in no way differentiating myself.

The coffee place gives you a nice discount if you bring your own cup, so I do (see above), and if it’s quiet, I stay there to drink it, but TODAY… I was behind two women who hadn’t seen each other in some time (long enough for one of them to bring a card and a cheerful bouquet, you know, when you want to embarrass the hell out of a so-called friend).

They were both in activewear (check out the video, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, but you DO) and they both had GIANT bags. They weren’t even hand bags, they were tents with handles. The bags were under their arms, jutting out in back, and they kept stepping back from the counter, and almost bludgeoning me with their GIANT-ASS bags. That was pretty annoying.

One of the employees started making sympathetic and then goofy faces at me at their expense, so I was NOT imagining their annoyingness.

Our beloved coffee shop in PWT’s-ville used to have regular and decaf, but now, in keeping with the times, they have regular, dark roast, and decaf.

BLOG threw up in my mouth

“Slow down – you’re blowing my mind.”

 

This was TOO MUCH for these women, who wanted to know the backstory of both regular coffees, and impart what they knew about the chemical processing of decaf. (Causes cancer, you say? Give me the whole pot!)

Once they heard the story of the coffees – “I vas born in var-torn Berlin…”  – they did NOT order coffee. NO! They wanted to hear all about the TEAS. What is this one? Optimus Prime?! OMG! Razzle-Dazzle?!?!?! Oh, gosh, IDK, what do you recommend?

I recommend you go ahead and order before I break my foot off in your ass.

At last, the woman behind the counter said, “Why don’t you give it some thought and come back when you decide,” which made them decide IMMEDIATELY on two iced mochas.

gpsprs

Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!

They went looking for a table (out of the three that are in the tiny coffee place), and the one holding the flowers dropped the flowers… (passive-aggressive!) They both let up a wail that disturbed the one pot-bellied guy who sits there all day enough for him to flap his newspaper.

The server not making their mochas (my sister in impatience) came out with a broom and dustpan and assured them there was no damage, the place could take worse, and I think I even heard her say, “Calm down.” It was like having Elf and Ed Grimley together at last.

Once my coffee was ready (took 2 seconds!) in my reusable cup, I got the hell out of there, but now I wish I had stayed and collected more material. It’s episodes like these that feed my morbid creative instinct. Alas. Please comment if you have a snarky story to share. I’m a snark-fueled vehicle.

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Hell on Wheels

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I’m a little angry that private donations soared when DT announced he would cut Meals on Wheels. It’s not because I don’t love stories of Americans opening their hearts. It’s because we shouldn’t have to.

Our greatest presidents (not self-proclaimed greatest, BTW) worked in the interest of American citizens. They crafted and promoted New Deals, a Peace Corps, Civil Rights and Voting Acts. These programs helped all Americans, even those who claim to be self-made.

BLOG smh

“SMH, if my head wasn’t made of granite,” Teddy Roosevelt

Record donations to Meals on Wheels would be wonderful, if they would actually save the program. They won’t, but they will do two other things.

They will drain and strain an already stretched population. People making donations today to Meals on Wheels are not corporations or wealthy private donors setting up long-term trusts. They’re people who don’t want their parents and neighbors to die alone of starvation. They could make a $20 donation, or even a $2,000 donation, but they can’t give enough to maintain it for as long as we need it – and we have a huge number of people who are going to need it in addition to those who need it NOW. (Census report, enjoy!)

They will also enable lawmakers to cut deeper. “Look at Meals on Wheels,” they’ll say, “we cut that entitlement* and now it’s better than ever!” They will point to this moment of mass charity and American spirit for years to come, denying what will inevitably happen next: the money will dry up, states and cities won’t have room for it in the budget, and it will die.

*Funny how being entitled is only a bad thing when it applies to the poor, the sick, Veterans, women, children, immigrants…

Paul Ryan, a neighbor of mine from Janesville, Wisconsin, has admitted he has “dreamed of this” since he was a young man “drinking at a keg.” That’s amazing. Way to never give up! (Technically, he’s talking about cutting medical care – does that make you feel better??)

BLOG threw up in my mouth

I just can’t…

I’m not saying people who donated were wrong to do so. Every day, I think of the Barenaked Ladies song, “If I Had a Million Dollars,” and imagine all of the causes I could serve and people I could help if only I had a little bit more. We do have generous hearts, we don’t want others to suffer.

(Except Paul Ryan, I actually want him to suffer. Sorry, Jesus.)

If only we Americans paid a little extra for goods every time we bought something, and a little percentage on everything we earned. If only there was a certain time of year we could surrender some of our money to be used for things that really mattered to us. Why, I’ll bet we’d hardly miss it, and just imagine what that money could do – if only it were in the right hands.

Here’s more about Meals on Wheels. If you want to do more than donate, click on Take Action!