On my way home from work today, I ran into a woman standing outside the entrance to the Wall Street subway station asking for money. She was dressed up like a nun, and I say “dressed up” because she was so obviously not a nun. Her costume was authentic enough – black robe, black habit, white trim in the right places, rosary beads around her neck, etc. But her face. It was a face of a killer, or at least of a person marginally active within criminal circles. It was worn and distrustful, and there was anger under the surface. You just knew that this woman wasn’t married to God, and would probably stab Jesus for seat at a poker table.
The worst part though, was that when I walked past her, she looked me in the eye and said (in a voice that would have recalled memories of child abuse had I been a child who was abused), “Sir, we’re collecting money for the children at the holidays.” And I wanted to respond, “No you’re not.” First of all, what children? You expect me to believe that you collect your money in this brass dish (nice touch) and then immediately take it back to some orphanage and spill it out on the floor and the kids take their cut and go buy school textbooks and hot meals? You’ve got to be kidding me.
It’s just such a base level of exploitation. Not of the orphans, but of the holidays. 364 days a year, orphans don’t get a second thought. Unless you’re on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” or Goldie Hawn is thinking of adopting you, you’re kind of just shit out of luck in the parents department. But then suddenly it’s Christmas and all focus goes on orphans. No parents! No toys! Santa forgot you! And here’s this fake nun capitalizing on the last pure sentiment Christmas has to offer: that you only get presents if you have parents, but your parting gift is something much more special – a life that can only go up from here.
Anyway, I hate this woman, and as I’m walking past ignoring her, imaging all sorts of scenarios where she is suddenly strangling me with her rosary beads, I hear the familiar jingle of change falling into a brass plate behind me. I turn and see The Most Gullible Looking Man Ever (like he would put up an ad on Craigslist saying “Interested in buying a bridge – do you have paypal?”) emptying his pockets into the dish. And while I want to feel bad for him, I suddenly realize that I am shooting him this awful stink-eye. And to everyone else around us, it appears like I’m all pissed because this guy is giving money to the children for the holidays, but really I’m just pissed because that woman is a terrorist and she is winning and she just unleashed a dirty bomb on my Christmas spirit. But this guy, The Most Gullible Looking Man Ever, he’s just radiating happiness. He honestly believes that because of his donation that a child somewhere will have a better Christmas. So in a roundabout way, even though the only kid that’s going to be affected by that money is the one that woman aborts after getting high on meth and banging lots of dudes (and if that’s what she meant by “for the children” then that’s some pretty ballsy false advertising), even still: That guy is feeling the Christmas spirit pretty hard right now. So fuck you, fake nun.* You can’t ruin Christmas after all.
* If you are a real nun, I really do apologize.