Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For The Children at the Holidays

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.


Blogger Katie said...

If she really was a nun, well, her husband (God) totally forgives you because that line about the bridge ad on Craigslist? Possibly the reason you were put here on Earth.

December 19, 2007 at 5:36:00 PM EST  
Blogger orangelauren said...

Hmmm...maybe she was angry that not many people were giving money. But, that is strange if she looked mad just because of that...

December 19, 2007 at 7:21:00 PM EST  
Blogger GoMommy said...

I once saw a man begging on a street corner. Then he walked across the street to a nice SUV, changed his dirty, ragged shirt for a clean one and off he went. I felt jilted. You just can't trust homeless people.

December 19, 2007 at 7:46:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only kid that’s going to be affected by that money is the one that woman aborts after getting high on meth


how do you keep delivering such genius??

December 19, 2007 at 9:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Airam said...

There's no time for exploitation than the holiday's right?

December 19, 2007 at 10:00:00 PM EST  
Anonymous anna said...

"Fuck you, fake nun" has to be my favorite line of the day!

December 19, 2007 at 10:04:00 PM EST  
Anonymous The 'fake' Nun said...

I forgive you, my child. Don't you ever call me fake again!

December 20, 2007 at 1:03:00 AM EST  
Blogger Kelly said...

Too much coughing and dputtering to come up with a good comment.


December 20, 2007 at 8:57:00 AM EST  
Blogger Miriam D said...


Whenever I see someone asking for change on the subway, I immediately look at their shoes. Because if they have decent shoes, they have enough money and not enough problems to be begging. That's the standard for me!

You have a great blog, btw! I'm a first time reader but I'll definitely be back.

December 20, 2007 at 11:14:00 AM EST  
Anonymous long time reader first time replier said...

I think she was a real nun.

December 20, 2007 at 11:31:00 AM EST  
Anonymous LaraB of redredwhine said...

Fuck you, fake nun, indeed! Maybe I should start scowling at everyone donating to the Salvation Army by my train station each morning because, really, that bell is obnoxious.

December 20, 2007 at 11:50:00 AM EST  
Blogger undercover celebrity said...

"a dirty bomb on my Christmas spirit" is the funnies thing I've heard in quite some time. And, since you haven't trademarked it, I will be using it prolifically in days to come -- no royalties going to you or the orphans.

December 20, 2007 at 1:22:00 PM EST  
Blogger Johnny Sapphire said...

"Fuck you, fake nun."

Just beautiful.

December 20, 2007 at 2:07:00 PM EST  
Blogger sid said...

I am a real nun and I was collecting money for the "kids". Of course the kids happen to be my own ...

December 21, 2007 at 7:44:00 AM EST  
Blogger Chris said...

There used to be this pathetic woman begging for change on the subway and she was always "pregnant", no matter what time of year it was. She would enter through the doors at the end of the car, stare at the floor and turn sideways, sticking out her massive "belly", in case you missed it while ignoring her.

I hate fake beggars. And don't even get me started on the kids with the fubu jacket and timberlands on line at the supermarket with food stamps.

December 26, 2007 at 9:33:00 AM EST  
Blogger Carol said...

She's a fake. She was outside the subway tonight on my way home, asking for money for St. Joseph's. I must've been at the "fed up" stage, because I turned around and asked her "St. Joseph's WHAT? Where is it? Do you have a brochure?" Needless to say, aside from saying that it was an orphanage, she couldn't give me any legitimate answers, except that I could look it up on the web. Guess what? I can't find it anywhere.

February 14, 2008 at 9:26:00 PM EST  

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