Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Your Charity Dude

Dad: So anyway, what are you up to this evening?

Me: Well, actually, I'm going to be doing some charity work.

Dad: (a pause) Court ordered?

Oh, ha ha, Dad... you're SOOOO funny. But you have a point. Charitable acts and I aren't exactly college roommates; you know, the kind that share clothes and stay up all night watching movies and talking about the mysteries of this crazy existence until one of them finally gets up the courage to place his hand on the other's thigh and lean in for a kiss and GOD DAMN YOU, JOEL, HOW COULD YOU REJECT ME?!?! So vulnerable... so... many tears...

Anyway, my point is, I don't do just a whole lot of charity work. But I have an excellent excuse: I'm fucking lazy. And yes, I'm aware that we've covered this terrain a time or two, but I bring it up again because, seriously, you don't even KNOW what a fat piece of slothful shit I really am. You could be like, "Dude, naked chicks are handing out hundred dollar bills and free wishes and then Jesus is going to come down and host a block party called 'Amazing,'" and I'd be all like, "Yeah, that's great... but... um, I've got a fresh can of Pringles and this couch is real, real comfy. Tell J-dog I said hey, though." I'm exaggerating only slightly. So, needless to say, helping others has never been high on my Give A Shit list. Which I realize makes me a terrible person who kicks dogs in the face and pushes grannies out windows into dumpsters filled with sad. I KNOW.

However, I get the feeling that all of that might be changing. Not like I've "seen the light" or "had my eyes opened to the plight of Man" or any of that trite, mawkish bullshit. Please. I'm still a fat piece of slothful shit but... you know... maybe a little less so. Slightly, kinda-sorta... let's not get crazy here.

This is what happened...

Typically, this story starts with me agreeing to do something while drunk. Because, hey, LOTS of things sound like great ideas when you're gooned on rum drinks in a Brooklyn tiki bar. This was last weekend and I was hanging out at a birthday party with my boy Midwesterner and he was telling me about his new job wrangling volunteers at this non-profit org called God’s Love We Deliver (they do Meals on Wheels-type stuff for AIDS/HIV & Cancer patients who can't cook for themselves and, also, despite the name, they aren't based in religion... weird). I, apparently magnanimous when I've been drinking, slurred something along the lines of, "Jeez... yeah... charity work... I should really do that... man, I just want to HELP PEOPLE... fuck, there's so much suffering..." and so Midwesterner invited me to come on down to his place of biz and pitch in. And I, of course, agreed (rum drinks).

And when I sobered up, the funny thing was that I didn't feel dread or irritation, nor did I immediately try to think of a way to get out of it. In fact, I thought to myself, "Hey... this might be a great thing! And I wouldn't have done it, were it not for booze! Thanks, BOOZE!!!"

So last night, I showed up at GLWD and I got my motherfucking charitable acts on with a vengeance. What you do there, basically, is food prep. The volunteers chop the veggies and wrap the bagels and prepare the meat that goes into the packaged meals that are delivered (along with God's Love, it seems) to those who need it. For example, last night was all about carrots. So many carrots. Bags full, all fresh and orange and arrogant about their vitamins and ability to make you see well in the dark. We peeled them and then we chopped them up into little half-moons and then we did it some more and then all over again and then the second verse was the same as the first and so on and so on. For about an hour and a half, we took blade to root veggie and chit-chatted and listened to the radio and then, suddenly, we were done. Before I even had a chance to get sick of shit and contemplate lopping off a finger just to get out of there, it was over... the perfect amount of time to where you feel like you've accomplished something, but where you don't feel like you've pulled kitchen duty in the Army.

And... bonus... you get some free food to take home. Not the stuff you were working on (though they were LOVELY carrots), but stuff from local bakeries that's given to the org to give to us as a way of saying thanks for being so awesomely helpful with the goodness.

It was two hours out of my week, it required nothing more of me than a little manual labor and the ability to be pleasant, and it's something that actually makes a difference. They got their prep done for the meals they provide and I got to walk out the door with the smug sense of self-satisfaction that comes from doing a good thing. It's win-win!!!

So yeah... I'm in. Every Wednesday night, from here on out, I'm going to be down there chopping vegetables, hoping that maybe it will balance out all the crappy things I've done in my life, to myself and others. Because, like I said, I'm still kind of an iffy sort of person... lazy and a drunk and selfish and a thousand kinds of whatever. But, beyond that... besides that... I'd really like to think that I'm not all bad. That maybe I'm your basic slob with a heart of, well if not gold, then at least some solid third-place bronze. In other words, I'm your charity dude. And though it's early in the game, gotta say... it feels good.

10 Comments:

Blogger Ross said...

This is a great story. I think most people are like you. They don't want to do any charity work. They think that they have to give all their possessions to the poor and live among the homeless (where did they get that idea...probably the Bible...really).

But then they find something they like to support and a job they like to do, and snap! They find that they can do good in the world.

Sorry, I sound very condescending...but good for you!

10:12 AM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

You could be like, "Dude, naked chicks are handing out hundred dollar bills and free wishes and then Jesus is going to come down and host a block party called 'Amazing,'" and I'd be all like, "Yeah, that's great... but... um, I've got a fresh can of Pringles and this couch is real, real comfy. Tell J-dog I said hey, though." ----
-
My goodness I was laughing my Ass off on that quote. That is truly lazy my man. Its also a bald faced lie. You are clearly not lazy. You write a post every day and bring it hard. That is some hard shit to do, Sure maybe once in awhile a guy can write some funny shit, (me, about once a quarter) but you do it day in and day out. I so enjoy reading your shit, that I have long considered myself grateful to know about your blog and your funniness. I am like a smelly homeless dude and you are constantly giving me a metaphorical dollar.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Lioux said...

Awww.

I wish I had the ability to be pleasant.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Angelina Jolie®™©™ said...

OMG, Clinton!!!

That's where all MY wonderful charity work began.

At GLWD.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Ross... Not condescending at all! You're totally right actually. And it's also that it's hard to figure out where to begin (which was something Midwesterner pointed out to me last night). There's a lot of good orgs out there, so finding the right starting point can be difficult.

Bill... Aw, thanks dude. That's really nice of you to say. My need for attention is the ONLY thing that overrides my laziness.

Lioux... I think there's a pill you can take now. The kids call it "Ecstacy."

Angelina... Awesome! Now, what do I need to do to get me one of them foreign babies?

11:01 AM  
Blogger brookLyn gaL said...

I have loved carrots for my whole life and I am blind as a bat. The whole thing is a LIE I tell you! A LIE!!!!!!!!!!!

12:11 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Nice dude!

1:07 PM  
Blogger Subway Gal said...

You could be like, "Dude, naked chicks are handing out hundred dollar bills and free wishes and then Jesus is going to come down and host a block party called 'Amazing,'" and I'd be all like, "Yeah, that's great... but... um, I've got a fresh can of Pringles and this couch is real, real comfy. Tell J-dog I said hey, though." I'm exaggerating only slightly. So, needless to say, helping others has never been high on my Give A Shit list. Which I realize makes me a terrible person who kicks dogs in the face and pushes grannies out windows into dumpsters filled with sad.

That may be one of the absolute funniest things that I have ever read.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Brooklyn... Carrots are nature's liars, that's true. They're orange, but they don't TASTE like an orange. Assholes.

Todd... It IS nice!!!

Subway... Wow, well thanks! I credit the extra cup of coffee I had this morning. It's humor fuel.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Well done, sir!

And also, nice addition of a Dr Horrible button over there! -->

*hums*Bad Horse, Bad Horse, Bad Horse, he's bad!

8:28 AM  

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