Sunday, September 09, 2007

save the children

from this world of quick fixes and dubious charity.

I’m in the vitamin store hunting down powdered colostrum for Isaac, which we’ve given him as an immune booster ever since the only two ear infections he got (within two months of each other) and seems to be working.

The saleswoman bustling around in a would-be efficient manner accosts me with the week’s sales flyer – a glossy thing printed, I’m sure, in the millions. I reject it. She’s confused, momentarily thrown off balance, until she recovers and says to me, like she’ll say to the next 250 customers that walk through the door, “Let me know if I can help with anything.”

I then proceed to stand waiting at the check out counter while she flits like a garden bug around her shelves of sealed white caps.

Ultimately, she does see me and propels herself toward the cash register. I’ve take vague notice of the green circles taped to the counter denoting “Vitamin Angels” when she asks if I’d like to donate a dollar to their cause. “Not today,” I tell her.

“Well,” she counters, “one dollar will save the eyesight of four children in developing countries. Something you might want to keep in mind for the future.” She reaches for a bag for my palm-sized, self-contained purchase.

“I don’t need a bag, thanks,” I hurry to get in. Then, mumbling into my inexplicably long receipt, add, “One fewer bag can save the world unknown amounts of fossil fuel. Something you might want to keep in mind for the future.”

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