Friday, August 23, 2013

Giggles From God - Part 1 (don't let the title scare you!)

You know you're having a true "bad parent" moment when the other parent looks at you and shakes their head in disbelief.  I had my first genuinely true "bad parent" moment on Wednesday evening.

Justin, Allie and I were sitting on the couch watching the BubbleGuppies when the theme song came on.  We are the kind of freaks that bust a move when those catchy little tunes play, especially since Allie gets super  excited when we do.  She was sitting on the footrest part of the recliner when she threw her arms up, started wiggling her tushy and began singing, "Bub-Bub-Bub, Bub-Bubble-GUP...."

And then she was gone.

Shimmied her shit right off of the recliner.

She literally fell backward off onto the floor.  And I lost it.  I'm losing it now just reliving the moment in my head.  It was hilarious.  

Immediately, Justin helped her up and she started to cry.  I knew she wasn't hurt, but the sudden fall scared her.  She climbed into this lap and sobbed, the poor thing.

I was sitting next to them, about 2 feet between us, rubbing her back and tears were just flowing down my face.  Stifling the laughter was so painful that I was actually crying. I couldn't even speak for fear that if I opened my mouth what might come out would be, "Ba! Hahahahahahahaha!"  What kind of mother laughs at her child like that?

Allie saw me and I know what she was thinking.  'Oh, Mommy is crying too!  She must be upset too!"  So she moved over to me for hugs and to comfort each other.

At some point she must've sensed that I was crying because I was laughing, not feeling sad.  She pulled her head back to look at me and got this very suspicious look on her face.  Then she crawled back over to her father.

And that's when I got the glare and head shake for poor parental behavior.  Mind you, once I was able to pull myself together and act like a mature adult, I was able to console her.  But I still felt like a bad parent while trying to stifle myself.

My point for telling you about this demented story is not to debate my parenting skills but to touch on something near and dear to my heart:  giggle-worthy gifts from God.

When something hilariously embarrassing, ridiculous, klutzy or brain-farty happens and you get to see it, I consider that "a little gift from God".  The one criteria is that no one gets hurt.  If someone sustains an injury beyond a minor contusion, all bets are off.  Then it's not a gift and I'm sure God does not want to be tied into it as something he did for your personal amusement.

(I really think I'm something speaking on behalf of God, don't I?  I'm merely speculating, people.)

I have a slew of these episodes in my past that I refer to when I need an silly story to tell or just want to amuse myself.  I will be sharing some of these with you over the next few blog entries, no holds barred.  I have plenty of moments of stupidity that a more sane person might find mortifying and want to keep under wraps.  Not me.  If you can be entertained by it, then it should be shared.  I wish you all could've been there to see it happen to me.  And I encourage you to contribute yours with others as well, should you be as much of a nutjob as I am.

There are two types of this genre of "gifts from God":  The First Hand Experience Gifts and The Observer Gifts.  I'm going to start with one of The Observer Gifts this evening.  It's a personal favorite and most definitely one of the top 5 in its category in my world.

Many, many moons ago, I was married to another man who shall be referred to as Al.  (I let him pick his own pseudonym and he came back with Al Hearst.  I have no idea why.  Maybe it's an inside joke that someone who is reading this will find funny.)  Al was a little older than me, very Italian, just as crazy as I am but with street smarts, and he had a very good job in the entertainment field.  Every day he took a bus to and from NYC.

Al hated this job.  On the days I drove him to his job (because not even busses ran that freakin' early in the damn morning....thanks, Dick!), he spent the entire time cursing his boss and the roads and his boss and people in general and his boss and the hours and pretty much everything that deserved (and did not deserve) to be bitched about.

By the time we got to Manhattan, I was so stressed from his misery that I wanted to throw myself into oncoming traffic.  Had I not driven the 35 minutes in my jammies, I might have considered it, but who wants to have their jammies be the ensemble they are wearing when an ambulance comes to scrape them up off of the side of the West Side Highway?

Al would work 17 hours and take a bus home.  Once he got dropped off in our town he would call me and I would go pick him up.  Here's where the funny part kicks in.

I guess it took me longer than usual to get ready because Al decided to start walking home.  I could see him walking slowly toward me, tired, wearing a heavy leather coat, carrying a big duffel bag and smoking a cigarette.  He saw me too and stopped walking.

What he failed to realize was that he stopped walking right in front of a pole with a firehouse siren on it.  Have you ever been "kinda near" one of those when they go off?  It's deafening.  People can't hear you talking even if you're screaming directly in their ear.  After all, it's meant to be heard by people miles away from it.

So, I'm beginning to slow down and suddenly,


The siren goes off.

Full blast.

So loud, I even jumped inside of my car and I was probably still a block away.

He fucking full-fledged freaked.  Freaked.  There's just no other way to put it.

It was like he got hit with a taser. Cigarette went soaring, duffle bag went flying, his eyes were like saucers, arms and legs went flying in different directions..... it looked a bit like this but in male form:

I laughed my ass off.  I laughed so hard that I stopped driving and drifted right into a mailbox.  I couldn't see through the tears.  It was one of those laughs where you seize up and you can't breathe in or out, you're just stuck in a moment of full-on hysteria.

Freakin' priceless.  PRICELESS!

The fact that I got to see it was clearly a gift from God.  It had been a crappy day and God knew I needed a chuckle.  He went above and beyond the call of duty to provide that chuckle that day.  He managed to place Al at the perfect place at the most opportune time to make it all happen.  He even made sure I moseyed along while getting ready to leave.  No sense of urgency that night!

Al grabbed his stuff and practically ran to the car.  When he got in, he was WIDE AWAKE.  He probably could've worked another 17 hour shift after that.

He was breathing heavily, his eyes were bulging out of his face and right away, his first words were, "J*sus Ch*st!  Did you HEAR that??"

That just sent me into a whole new round of laughter.  Did I hear it?!!  People in Guatamala probably heard it!  But none of them got to SEE it like I did.

Gift from God.  Amen.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Daily Musings and Random Ramblings

Hello, friends....both domestic and international.

Periodically, I look at the demographic chart that Google sends to me and I'm always amazed by who has stumbled upon my little piece of the blogosphere!

Now, don't panic.  There isn't a map of your street, with a little arrow pointing to your house that says "this person right hither just read your blog".  It's much more vague.  It narrows it down to countries, states and sometimes cities.

What I'm dying to know is how international people ended up here.  So, if you're from one of those other countries here on Planet Earth, I'd love to know what brought you to my blog.... and whether or not  it was an accident.  I'm itchin' to know what people in places like Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Russia and China clicked on to get here.

And as far as Latvia goes?  Well, hello there!  And welcome!  I had to look up where you were in my atlas.  (That kinda says something about the educational system here in the US, doesn't it?)

Operation Fattypants is going well.  Fourteen pounds have disappeared.  I still really want cake.  I'm just not having any....and I'm a wee bit sad about that. Sniff! Sniff!

Food portion sizes are completely ridiculous these days.  Some places serve eight times the normal serving of what we should be eating.  That's 800% more than what we should eat.  And a Bloomin Onion from the Outback is over 2500 calories?  It was 70 calories prior to bloomin' it!  No wonder we're such fatty-boom-a-lattys.

Even more frightening is the fact that I am so excited that I officially have relocated to a less crappy  section on a BMI chart!  I was doing the Forbidden Dance of Joy when I discovered this information.

Justin and I were sitting in bed on our iPads and I turned to him and said, all proud of myself, "Oh my gawd!  I just checked my BMI and I'm not Obese anymore!  Now I'm just Overweight!"

That there was a statement I never thought I would get excited about.  I'm thrilled to be in a new division of fatness.  (We are just full of action packed excitement over here.)

Speaking of losing stuff, would someone like to tell me where that sweet little baby of mine went to and who is this feisty-fresh little creature that was left behind in her place?!

Things I never thought I would hear Allie say:

"Calm down.  You don't have to be loud."
"Go!" (said while pointing elsewhere)
"I don't like you any more."
"Don't you tell me what to do!" (hand on hip, shaking finger at me)
"You're a very cheeky mommy!"
"I'm not talking to you any more." (as she turns and stomps away....for three seconds)
"I love playing with my grandchildren."

Say what?

Of all of the things she says that make my eyebrows shoot half way up my forehead, that last one freaks me out the most.  Her who?  Grandchildren?!

Me: "You have grandchildren?"
Allie: "Yes.  A boy and a girl."
Me: "Really?  How old are they?"
Allie: "They are just babies.  They are sooooooo cute."

When we ask their names, she usually gives us names that are probably popular in colonies on other planets like Mars or Saturn a hundred years from now.  Today the grandchildren were named Tanah and Ramah.  Nothing silly like Zingzong and Donkeykong.  (I totally would've taken that route)

This would seem like a silly conversation if it wasn't for a conversation I had with a Nun when Allie was one day old.  She walked into my hospital room, introduced herself, looked at Allie and said, "She has an old soul."

Granted, they are not strange words.  You hear it all of the time.  But for some reason, I thought it was shocking coming from a Nun.  It almost implied reincarnation.  I wasn't aware that the Nuns were into that these days.  Those wild and crazy wives of God are going all New Age I guess.

The fact is that we often forget that Allie's only two.  She's like a little grown up in a toddler body.  The things she says to us just don't seem to match up with her age.  When Justin asked her how she slept last night, her response was, "I slept well, thank you."  My response to the same question?  "Like crap."  I'm not as polite and delightful in the morning.

When she tells us to "calm down", she says it in this low, soothing voice while touching my arm.  In the moment, it really pisses me off, but when I think about it later, it seems very mature.  Too mature.  Freakishly mature.

What in the hell is she going to say to us when she's a teenager and we are REALLY bugging out about something?  With all of the therapists and psychological knowledge in our families, I can see her getting all "Frasier Crane" on our crazy asses.  We will keep her busy for quite some time.  Probably into her NEXT lifetime.
Dreaming of another lifetime......

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Stuck In An ATM Vestibule With Jill Goodacre

The title is actually a shout out to fellow "Friends" fans.  If you were a fan of the show, you just envisioned Chandler sitting on the floor of an ATM vestibule, on the phone with Monica, trying to indicate his whereabouts without moving his lips.  Then you saw Joey take the phone, listen and hand it back to her, saying, "He's stuck in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre" as if it was an every day occurrence.

I was indeed stuck in an ATM vestibule this weekend, but it was not with Jill Goodacre.  It was with a teenager, his mother and three other adults who all wanted to heave the little shit through the glass door.

Justin, Allie and I were at the town farmers market when we realized that between the three of us, Allie was probably the one with the most cash on her.  Allie and I went to use the ATM and when we reached for the door handle, we saw that there were six seriously annoyed adults standing around a 6 foot tall, chubby young man.  

The ATM is in the bank entrance, which is slightly larger than a bathroom stall for handicapped people.  (The entrance, not the bank.  That would be a very tiny bank!)  Everyone shimmied over a bit so Allie and I could get inside this little box and take our place in line.  

The teenager, who I shall refer to as Jackass (which is better than my original nickname of F**kface), was in front of the ATM and his mom was hovering over him, asking, "Did you punch in $280?  You need to punch in $280.  Oh my gawd.  Start over.  You didn't do it right."

At that point, his father sighed, his sister rolled her eyes, and they both left.  I kind of knew then that something was amiss.  

It's easier to just give you the dialogue at this point, because I'll just drag this on and on with angry details, so here we go:

Jackass: "This is stupid."

Mom: "It's not stupid.  Just pay attention and get it over with!"

Jackass: "I AM paying attention!"

Mom: "No you're not! You just did it again!  You typed $2800.  What are you doing??!!"

I looked at the people on either side of me and we all did that shrug-and-smile thing that you do when you aren't sure what's going on, but you know you should wait it out.  To be perfectly honest, because it was taking so long and he was hesitating with his responses to his mother, I thought that maybe he was mentally challenged and his mom was a rather impatient bitch.

Jackass: "There.  I did it."

Mom: "No.  You didn't.  You aren't paying attention.  This is ridiculous.  Hurry up!"

Jackass:  "Shut up."

Nice.  He told his mother to shut up.  Okay.  Now I think I see why mom is a little flustered.  She turned around to us a few times and mouthed "I'm sorry" during this episode and I was starting to think that maybe his mom was just at her limit with patience.

I need to clarify something for those of you who don't live in the Tri-State area, which includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  We all are in a freakin' hurry.  Even those of us here in cow country.  We might live in the sticks, but we are still New Yorkers and we don't have time for bullshit.  

I have a friend from NJ who waits at a red light, watching the light of the intersecting traffic.  When that sucker turns red, if the brake lights of the person in front of her don't go out in preparation to accelerate, she lays on the horn.  (You know who you are, my little onion hater! lol)  In a nutshell, regardless of what you are doing, if other people are affected by your speed, get your shit moving.

Back to the ATM.

Mom: "You really need to look at the world around you.  There is a line!  And there are people outside waiting too."


Mom: "Oh my God!  Stop texting!!!  You can type "yes" and "no" when you finish!  There is A LINE!"

Jackass: "SHUT....UP!"

It was at this point that I felt my throat closing up and I could feel my heart pounding through my chest.  I took a deep breath and just kept holding Allie close to me.   Everyone stopped smiling and we all stared at him like vultures looming over a wounded animal.  If he didn't scamper away in a few seconds, his death was eminent.  

This ignorant, selfish, rude, oblivious, entitled, mother f**king jackass was TEXTING while we were waiting patiently in line behind him!!  

TEXTING!  Something reserved for moments of solitude.  Not when you are sharing air in a tiny space with many humans who are in a rush to get money to buy vegetables, wine and baked goods from local farmers who are struggling to make a living.   And let me tell you, the bakery lady at the entrance sells out quick, so if you aren't snappy with your arrival time, it's "no cookies for you!"  This is critical stuff here!

Jackass took the money that the ATM finally spit out and just walked out the door.  He didn't look at any of us.  No acknowledgement, no apologies, no shrug-and-smile.  Not even a "screw you, peons!"  And his mom just scampered right after him.

We all just looked at each other in awe.  "What just happened?"  "Did she say he was texting?"  "He didn't even look apologetic."  "What in the hell is wrong with kids?"

For a moment, I got really scared.  Was this my future?  Was this what the teenage stage looked like in the 21st Century?  Was my little sweetpea going to grow into a self-absorbed monster like Jackass?  Was I going to be able to divert the process and at least make her semi-aware?  

Then I heard the rage inside of me and realized that this was not going to be Allie's future.  At least not without a fight.  I couldn't live in the same house with a child that behaved like that!  

If that was me, my mother would've taken that phone out of my hands, opened the door and winged the phone into traffic before she would let it get to that point.  And that is most likely what I would do, too.  Of course, I'd be kicking myself later as I gave my credit card number to the phone company to purchase a replacement, but you can be sure that there would be no Next Day Delivery on that sucker.  "Send it carrier pigeon.  She can wait."

On a happier note, after the farmers' market, we went to the grocery store and this was my pretty little shopping assistant....
She loved the Customer In Training flag
This was her first solo shopping cart mission, so it was packed full of entertainment.  The cart toppled over sideways three times ("Don't worry, Al.  It happens to everyone.  Let's keep moving, honey.") and she was eventually given a 20-Paces-Behind-Or-Your-Cart-Priviledges-Will-Be-Revoked warning after   slamming into my heels one too many times.  Mind you, she would get distracted by something and realize she had to catch up to me, so this cart collision was happening while running at full speed.

I thought of you all during this escapade as I envisioned a photo of her reaching out to one of the beer displays.  There were a few potential captions that made me giggle, but I really didn't have the nerve to do it.  What kind of parent sets their two year old up for a photo to look like she's purchasing beer at the supermarket?  
She's looking at the Corona display here.  I was THISCLOSE!

It was the shame that stopped me.  For once, shame beat the silly out of me.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Skinny Faces and Nasty Bitches

"Wow!  I can tell you lost weight..... I can see it in your face!"

Just what every person wants to hear.  The area where the most change has occurred is in your face.  Fabulous.

I was really hoping it would be my giant ass or tree trunk legs that would be the first place affected.  Even better, if I didn't have to suck in my gut and still feel a fat roll, I'd be thrilled!  But noooooooo.  My face looks thinner.

F*&%ing hell!

I even would've been happy if my boobs looked smaller.  They've been a huge pain in the ass since I was a teenager.  Wearing the "grandma bras and sex killer lingerie" is the pits.  (A woman at a department store actually referred to my purchases as being "grandma-ish sex killers" once.  Never went back there.)  By 41, I've just given up.  It takes me back to the sensible shoes thing.....sometimes comfort is worth sacrificing style.

Operation Fattypants is still going.  You thought I would've crapped out by now, didn't you?  The coconut cake and chocolate chip cookies still call, but I send them straight to voice mail.   Sorry, no time for you!

I'm ten pounds down and still shrinking.   Slooooooooowwwly.  But I can feel a difference already.  Who would've thought ten pounds would make a difference (other than in my face...oy!)?  

Yesterday I was lamenting the fact that all of my skorts were falling off when I wear them.  Then what little is left of the "cool person I thought I was" many years ago clicked in and said, 'Maybe that's a sign that thin people don't need to resort to the skort, Vic.  Is the skort still in style???  I haven't seen people wear lately.  I wonder why that is??"

My inner cool person is a sarcastic bitch.

Speaking of bitches.... last night we were watching "Big Brother" on CBS and we are always shocked by  how even more horrible these human beings become week after week.  It gives me a smidgen of anxiety.  What a surprise.  Me and anxiety.  Who woulda guessed?!

Before I go on, yes, I watch cheesy reality shows.  My DVR is stockpiling them for me.  Andy Cohen is my DVR's pimp. He makes a new show and I find myself up at 1am, with toothpicks holding my eye lids open, glued to the TV. All of those Housewives and the Millionaire realtors are hanging out patiently, waiting to rot my mind, late at night after Allie is asleep.  

But Big Brother is by far the worst of them.  I'm not proud.  Loyal, but not proud.

I've watching since the inception of BB and I go back for more year after year.  Big Brother After Dark kept me entertained during the insomnia phase of pregnancy, so I kinda owe them.  (That's my pathetic excuse of the moment right there)

This year the women are embarrassing.  Three are racists who think their comments (which are heard live by millions of people) are "no big deal".  Another one has tried to start a romance with four men, desperately trying one after the other until one of them took the bait.  (He has since dumped her and moved on to one of the racists.)  One is a master manipulator who uses her skills in politics to shmooze everyone and fool them into thinking she is on their side.  And one is a complete bully, whose mission is to force her housemates into doing what she wants, or she scares the shit out of them.

Not one of these women could be a role model for Allie.  They are dreadful.

And yet, there are two who I find endearing.  One is a highly sensitive yoga instructor who is a terrible  liar, a devoted friend, and everyone thinks she's a dope.  The other one is an attractive, intelligent african american girl who is antagonized by racist comments and tries desperately to stand up for herself, which everyone in the house finds to be annoying.

Out of this collection of women, the only people I would want Allie to learn anything from are The Dumbass and The Annoying One.  That's what the others have pretty much labeled the people with scruples.  How lovely.

Before having Allie, Justin and I used to have conversations about having children and often the same statement came out: Do we want to bring a child into a world full of so much hate?  My only response was, 'If the good people start dwindling, who will stop the others from taking over?"  

So, in turn, I have now declared my Big Brother viewing to be research.  R&D.  Research and Development to prepare myself for what kind of people are out there waiting to corrupt my little princess after we have worked so hard at teaching her to be a kind, loving little soul.  

We need to prepare her to fight the meaniepants bitches from "taking over".  Fight the good fight!  Speak out against the injustices of the world!  Have a cape and a mask!  Wear gold bracelets that deflect bullets!   Make friends with the Wonder Twins so you can report back to me how they actually activate their powers!  Rule Gotham dammit!!!  (I took it too far)

How about if she just hangs out with Shaggy and Scooby (ruh-ro!), and makes friends with the girls that the evil ones have labeled as dumbasses and annoying?  They may very well be misrepresented.   Someone should find out for sure.

In the meantime, she can help house train Scrappy until they get it all figured out. 

My little crime fighter

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Guilt-driven Forced Donating

This post is probably not going to be very flattering.  At least not for me.  YOU might feel better about yourself afterward though!

Today, I went to the grocery store in a town nearby to pick up a few small things.  I left my wallet at home, had $20 in cash in my pocket and there was no other money in my car.  Pulling into the parking lot, I see a gathering of people at the exit.  Something told me to drive past and when I did, I got EXTRA annoyed.

There, jammed around the exit, was a group of about ten or more high school kids.  They were collecting donations for something school related and they were dressed up in their sports jerseys and school colors.  Lots of excitement was going on and there wasn't even a departing shopper there.

I watched a young victim guy exit the store, totally unprepared for what was waiting.  I knew what was coming and I wanted to jump out of my car and yell, "Retreat!  Retreat!  Find an alternative exit, good man!" 

Those kids were all over him like stink on a litter box.  All of that school-pride-in-your-face-fueled-by-teenage-energy was flying around as they were bouncing all over the place.  They were talking way too loud all at once, asking, "Would you like to donate to blah-blah-blah??"

I had stopped in the middle of the parking lot, staring in awe as the poor guy was mauled by the teenage vultures.  It was like a bad accident.... I just couldn't look away.  I watched him digging in his pockets while trying to balance his bags (which no one cared to help him with; they just wanted his money) and heard myself say out loud, ""

There are quite possibly tire tracks in the parking lot from my rapid acceleration from zero to 30.  I would rather leave without my stuff than be forced into forking over cash at that moment.  I was so outta there. 

Right away I started thinking about Justin.  He always gets annoyed when they hit him up for donations at the the register, let alone when he's leaving the store.  I used to get so pissed at him, calling him a greedy Grinch and all sorts of guilt-inducing names.  

Once when the cashier asked him if he wanted to donate to some big charity, his response was an exasperated "REALLY?  C'mon!"  I thought I was going to die of embarrassment, even though he did give them money.  

His explanation was, "How in the hell do you say NO without looking like an asshole?  It totally puts you on the spot.  And everywhere you go they ask you for money toward some cause.  It's like they know you'll do it so you don't feel like a piece of shit."  I totally get that now.

Guilt-driven Forced Donations.  GFD.  It's spreading like wildfire!

Not that I'm trying to make excuses, but I think I'm a pretty generous person when it comes to charity.  Until recently I was donating monthly to four separate organizations.   When my father passed away, I took a set percentage of the money that he left me, bought goods and donated them to an animal shelter.  I don't think twice about saying "yes" to "would you like to donate ___ to ______" when checking out at a store.  I'm right there with the "of course!"

But enough!  There has to be a limit to all of this.


This new found attitude hasn't been easy to adapt to.  I was raised Catholic and their "thing" 40 years ago was to give a percentage of your income to the church.  My parents didn't follow that rule to such an extreme, but they gave money every week.  (I say "they" but it was really my mom, since my dad was at home while we were at church, busily being part of his own creative religion)

Not so long ago, I had a table full of relatives give me a lecture about how I needed to cut back from four charities to two since we weren't exactly Rockerfellers or Trumps or Carnegies or Gateses or Buffets.  We were, and still are, majorly limited with our funds.  I argued my case pretty hard and we agreed to meet in the middle.  From four to two.

My point in the argument was that we need to help others.  I want Allie to grow up wanting to help others.  It's all part of karma and it comes back to you in some way.  Maybe when you need help, it will come to you because you were there for other people.  Or maybe what you receive will be an enlightened understanding to what is going on around you.  

I want Allie to know that there are people who are very ill and need help; there are families who have lost everything in natural disasters and are living with almost nothing...and yet they are grateful; there are people who went to war for our country and now they need us to help them create a normal life; there are animals discarded like garbage on the side of the road who have the potential to be the most loving and devoted friend a human can know; and  there are children who are neglected and abused and all they think about is fighting to survive.

And I want her to know that she can help, even if it seems like a small gesture.

When you look carefully outside of your own little "world", you become compassionate and empathetic and your spirit grows.  I want her spirit to be just freakin' enormous!  I want it to get in peoples' way and block traffic and shit.

Hopefully all of this  will make her feel good about herself and want to just keep learning and giving.  It can be an endless cycle.  If she sees US giving in some way (monetarily or otherwise), maybe it will become second nature for her to do the same during her lifetime.

With all of that being said, it still pisses me off when I feel like I'm being ambushed and I have no choice but to give money.  The message sounds more like, "Would you like to donate cash or would you prefer to look like a selfish bastard to everyone around you?"  How is that going to make anyone feel good?  

And for Pete's sake, don't come at me with the same hyped-up-on-hormones-but-looking-like-I'm-on-crack-too energy that I couldn't stand, even when I was one of them 25 years ago!

Approach with caution and ye shall receive bank!!  

Okay, maybe not "bank", but probably a smidgen of US currency.  

(Sorry about that "bank" thing.  I was just trying to fit in with the cool kids.  Fail.  Yikes.)  

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