A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Boot this!

Spring has sprung
The Grass is riz
I wonder where the boot drive is?

Three words guaranteed to raise my blood pressure any time of year. “Boot drive ahead.” Now please understand I am NOT anti-charity. I give my fair share to all sorts of funds and even volunteer my time for some causes I believe in. I have no problem flipping a few bills into the Salvation Army kettle at Christmas time. But the idea of putting money in a boot held by somebody in the middle of the road just goes against my grain. First of all it seems insanely dangerous. Sometimes these are kids in the road. You feel bad driving by. The worst is when your travels take you past the same boot drive a few times during the day. Even if you have given in and dropped loot once you feel like all eyes are on you when you pass by a second or third time. I have been known to detour miles just to avoid this humiliation. Usually these are fundraisers for local fire departments or an ambulance company. I saw a sign at one of these explaining that it was your best interest to give because what if you had an accident in that town? Your contribution could help save your life. If you follow that logic to it’s conclusion then every time you take a drive you should be stopping at every towns fire dept. to make a donation, just in case. But I understand why the boot drives happen. They are great fundraisers. Recently I was stopped in line at a four way intersection waiting on one. Five cars in front of me, five cars in each direction. That’s 20 cars. Lets say each person gives a buck, a good average since some dicks like me give none and other people who we won’t call suckers give more. So twenty bucks in about a minute. $1200 in an hour. About $5,000 in a four hour period. Hell yes! Sign ME up for that! Even if I am way off in projections it probably makes the fire department big bucks. But it’s not MY fire dept. My local fire and ambulance companies, who do a great job, do not do boot drives. They send me a little card in the mail and ask for some dough. I have no problem writing that check. I also see loads of bake sales and ham and bean dinners for fire departments. All of which seem a much more civilized way of getting some funds into the right place. But sure as the crocuses and forsythia bloom the boots will be blooming soon as well. Or then again I could be wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when I am in a REALLY Bad mood (you may find this hard to believe but that's often) I will ask them if they always panhandle on the weekends. 'Cause that's what it is, panhandling.