I Was Expecting A Commemorative Hurricane Katrina Tote Bag For My Generous Donation

Pictured: Nancy Normal

Gee, times have changed. Even in the richest country in the world, people still can't seem to be very generous anymore, can they? I mean, when I donate to a cause like PBS, the Kiwanis Club, or the occasional disaster relief effort, I expect to be offered a complimentary tote bag, a video of tonight's program, or at least a raffle ticket and the chance to win big prizes, act now. Well, I donated to the Red Cross last week, and I'm still waiting on my complimentary tote bag.

Hello? Anybody there? Can you hear me a-knocking? If you want people to be willing to give their hard-earned money to any cause, you've got to be willing to offer something in return. It was a small thing, but that month of free subscription to National Geographic we got when we gave money to PBS that one time really warmed our hearts (except the pages with breasts on them, but I took several hours cutting them out and mailing them to my local Congressman). But boy, the Red Cross really knows how to stick it to you by not even sending you a commemorative Hurricane Katrina window sticker as a gesture of thanks for your generosity. Or how about a nice Katrina yellow ribbon? Here I am thinking of these ideas, and I'm just a lonely housewife, and not a strong rescue worker who might be reading and thinking of how to use his muscles!

Seriously, people are so stingy these days. I know that gas prices are high, and everyone is busy putting millions of dollars away for our children's first semester at college (isn't that funny? Like college is so expensive that we now have to pay gazillion dollars per semester! Giggle, giggle, if my prediction comes true, then I guess I'll have to start selling crystal meth by the time our youngest is of college age!). But just because things cost a lot of money these days is no excuse for not giving the people a little reward for making a generous donation.

Willickers, I think I might just have to go and make my own Remember Katrina tote bag if no one else is going to do it for me. How embarrassing it would be to go to our neighbor's next cocktail party and not have any way to show that our family donated quite a lot of money to the cause of helping the poor, suffering black folks who, without help from families like ours, will never go to school, never get to fall in love, never get to be cool (okay, I have to confess that I borrowed that line from this one song I heard coming from my son's radio, probably by some Satan-worshipping, child-eating, heroin-injecting, sexy-sweating rock and roll star, but I only did it because being "hip" is the best way to connect to the crazy youth of today).

Anyway, how will people know that we are very generous and loving to the poor, suffering, ignorant black people without a fanny pack commemorating the victims of Hurricane Katrina, or a coffee mug with the seal of New Orleans painted on (wouldn't that be ironic, because then the city would kind of be "under water" every time you have your morning coffee! Haha, look out, Carlos Mencia!)? I guess that what it comes down to is that people just don't care anymore. Who's willing to go the extra mile if not the Red Cross? Well, it's not going to be me until I get my tote bag!

Boy, everyone out there must think that I'm a really p.o'd, and downright mad about this, but I'm really not like that. I'm just disappointed that some people always think of themselves first and not the other good people who might have a good use for a complimentary throw pillow or afghan. Well, maybe not an afghan, because that sounds like something the terrorists would use, and I'm sure that they had something to do with all this mess, so instead how about a free month's worth of Army rations and baked beans? That would be appropriate, because it would magically transport you and your family into the wild, wacky world of the Hurricane Katrina survivors, which could be a very educational thing for our children. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait for Rita and pray that people have gotten more generous by then.

Well, that's enough yakity yak from me for now. If you need my I'll be sewing a shawl in the memory of those who lost their lives and houses in the wake of the flood. No thanks to you, American Red Cross!

Nancy Normal is a full-time housewife in Tellersville, PA. She wonders why charities aren't more charitable these days.

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