So last week was my dad’s Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll drive, which is basically those guys in Chicago who give tootsie roll’s away for donations to children with special needs. It was nice because I got to get some sun, do charitable work to make up for my long list of reasons why I should not be allowed one foot past St. Peter when I die, and help kids with special needs. What could go wrong? Well, I’ll tell you. The following is a collection of things I’ve learned while workin’ the streets (teehee)….
If you drive a nice car and don’t give change, you look like an ass: Now I’m not one to judge (lol), but honestly, you could be on your way to a children’s hospital performing free open heart surgery on an entire orphanage, but if you don’t at least acknowledge my smile as I pass by clinking my change bucket, you look like a horrible heartless meany, even if you were about to donate a kidney, which I doubt was the case.
Apparently I have a scary smile: As I was walking down the rows of cars waiting at a light, a large, grown man actually power locked his door as I passed by! I wanted to knock on his window and shout GIMME ALL YOUR MONEY, but the light was about to turn and I didn’t want to give the Knights a bad name so I just walked on. But honestly? Dude, do I really look like the type of person who in broad daylight will open your car door, unbuckle your seatbelt, drag you out of your car and beat the crap out of you? Perhaps he’s read my blog and realizes I’m quite an irate person. Or perhaps he has an unnatural fear of short girls in green shirts and sunglasses who smile and give out tootsie rolls for charity drives, who knows.
Tootsie rolls go good with beer: Being a law-abiding citizen for the most part, I tend to follow the rules to a T. Seat belt? Always on. Mirrors? In place. Blind spot? You get the idea. So I was shocked and baffled when I approach a guy in a pick up truck WITH A HALF DRANKEN MGD IN HIS CUPHOLDER. ON A SATURDAY. AT ONE IN THE AFTERNOON. This guy was bad to the bone, times a million. I almost wanted to ask him what dive bar he was undoubtedly heading to so we could maybe hang out and listen to some Lynard Skynard, but I had tootsie rolls to give and he had beers to drink. Another time perhaps.
I really need to learn how to cross the street: When I was younger, my neighbors’ mom (hi Tracey if you’re reading!) saw me dart across the street, “supposedly” not looking, although the jury’s still out, and told my mom who strictly instructed me that you always must be careful when crossing the street. Too bad neither of them taught me how to stand in between cars at a red light and ask for money, because I really could use a lesson in it. I would start out at the crosswalk and head down in between, but the problem was sometimes a person wanted to give me change as the light was turning green,so I had to either risk getting hit or not take the donation. Guess which one I did, every-single-time. I don’t know what I said more that day, “thank you” to people giving money, or, “sorry, sorry sorrrryyyyyeeeeahhhhh!!” as I darted into, over, around and across traffic. Tip if you ever have to do this: close your eyes, it makes the cars coming at you a LOT less frightening.
If someone gives you a $20, take the money and run: This kind lady, or what I thoughtwas a kind lady, put a $20 in my bucket, to which I shrieked with delight because in the charity drive, getting “big bills” is a big deal and gives the person who received the bill bragging rights for the rest of the day. (If I had to compare it to current events, a $5 is like getting nominated for an Emmy, a $10 is winning an award for best guest star appearance, a $20 is winning best comedy, and anything over that is winning best actor while Kanye West gets up on stage, steals your Emmy and beats you over the head with it. In other words, its a big deal). So anyway, I was so excited that I got a big bill that I start thanking her and shoving tootsie rolls in her lap. She then asks, “wait, what did I give you?” to which I moronically reply, “a twenty, why…” turns out she meant to give me a $1 and actually asked for it back which I complied because given my track record of running through traffic I was pretty sure she’d have caught me before I even reached the turning lane. She felt really bad which was good and I’m hoping she later stopped by another person and gave more than the three measly little dollars she gave me. But the lesson learned here is don’t give money without checking what the number on the corner is, and DO NOT by any means ask for it back, especially if it’s for kids with special needs- that’s just a one way ticket to hell.
Whatever you do, don’t stare at the guy touching himself: So it’s really, really hard when your walking the streets to try and figure out if people are actually going to give you money. It’s nice when you get waved over, or they look at you and roll the window down, but other than that, there’s really no sure way of telling. So I’m walking towards the row of cars and I see a guy staring down and fiddling with something. My naive mind thought, oh! A nice man is finding change! Perhaps he is looking for his hundred dollar bill to help the children! Let me run over and give him some candy! It was hard to see him clearly because his windows were slightly tinted, so as I approach, I walked slower and slower to give him time to find his cash. It wasn’t until about a good minute of staring at him before I realize he’s not helping the children, but instead is what I will call, scratching himself as I stare dead at him. Oh, you don’t want to help the children? Oh, ok then, I’ll just go over here and hope the next car has some bleach so I can burn my eyes out.
All in all it was quite a scary experience, but in the end it was heart-warming to watch all different types of people from all walks of life give what they could, so I guess watching a guy “scratching” himself in traffic was worth it…it was after all, for the kids.