Saturday, September 24, 2005

It's The End Of The World As We Know It And She'll Have Another Gin And Juice

Everything tastes better when it’s free. Especially irony.

A 24 year old Hurricane refugee named Don Maurice Airline was found dead in Tennessee last Saturday, apparently the victim of a robbery. He had been shot five times in the head and his Red Cross debit card worth “several hundred dollars” was missing from his body.

Now before you start shedding tears or pouring malt liquor on the sidewalk, read the rest of the article to discover where Mr. Airline was just before his untimely death.

Was he buying medical supplies for his family? Negotiating the settlement from his insurance company? Discussing his finances with his bank officers? Doing anything remotely related to piecing together the shattered remains of his pre-hurricane existence?

No, he was at a nightclub.

You know, the place you go to drink copious amounts of alcoholic beverages while flailing your arms around wildly to pulsating bass rhythms and attempting to elicit the attention of the opposite sex? Nightclubs are also the perfect places to go after a particularly wearisome week of wading through muddy floodwater while futilely trying to protect your newly-looted basketball jerseys from the floating detritus.

Nightclubs, as far as I can gather, are not a source of free entertainment. Typically there’s a cover charge which doesn’t include the $11 one has pay for a tumbler full of watered-down Bacardi and Coke or one of those trendy low-carb beers which have the savory sensation of having already been filtered through a human’s renal cortex. So while Don Airline is out trying to drink away the fact that he has the single most ridiculous name in human existence, thousands of well-meaning, idealistic college students are sacrificing their ramen noodle and marijuana acquisitions by donating their parents’ hard-earned money to the Red Cross. Donations that undoubtedly helped fund Mr. Airline’s Saturday night groove-session.

If you were one of these people duped into thinking that disaster survivors were merely eking out an existence by pawing through dumpsters for bread crusts and ¾ full bottles of Vitamin Water tossed in the trash by people who had after one sip realized that it tasted suspiciously like aardvark urine, I’m sorry, but you don’t have any legal recourse.

However, instead of letting the sentiment of middle-class guilt force you into shelling out your money to people who will use it to entertain their lady-friends at discothèques, be aware of the fact that charities prey on your emotions for their own existence. However noble the Red Cross claims to be, that impression is despoiled when one of its “clients” is out breakdancing with their credit card in his back pocket.

So save your money, my guilty Caucasian friends. Somewhere on that big ol’ planet of yours there are humans who are really in need of your assistance, and you’d be doing everyone a service if you sought them out individually, rather than to blindly write checks to organizations whose distribution system has no accountability.

Or, alternatively, you could just buy yourself several drinks and try to forget the fact that entropy is irreversible.

And no “lite” beers, Mortals.

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