I`ve been looking forward to this opportunity all week long. Something`s been bugging me since Tuesday and it was all I could do to wait this long to unburden myself. On Tuesday, I was buying a big bag of dog food at Petco in Clive. I was using a coupon and was pretty proud of myself for remembering to bring the coupon. The cashier told me it saved me about ten dollars, but just as I was about to pat myself on the back, she asked me ‘would you care to donate your savings to homeless pets?’
Man, I had this coupon magneted to the side of the refrigerator for about a month. It had fallen in Archie`s water bowl a couple of times but I`d dried it off… I rescued it from Elin`s destructive little fingers at least once. I`d pulled out of the driveway and then realized that I`d left it inside and started to say ‘screw it’ but then remembered it would save me about ten bucks and so I went all the way back inside to get it. I`d left the house without packing a lunch but thought that with the money I`d save with the coupon, I could buy myself a five-dollar footlong and still come out ahead. But now this woman is asking me if I want to give it right back to her in the name of homeless pets!
What am I gonna say? ‘No’? There`s a bunch of people behind me in line! They`ll think I`m a total jackass. Some goofball will pipe up ‘I know what`s buggin` Andy… giving up ten whole dollars to help homeless pets right after he just spent fifty on dog food!’ I care about homeless pets, of course I do! But if I say ‘no’ I`m gonna look like I don`t!
Why do we care so much about what strangers think of us? I give plenty of money and time to several animal welfare charities and make at least two trips a year there with all our old towels, blankets, bowls and leashes. I could tell the cashier that and keep my money ‘uh, no, I donate plenty to animal charities,’ and I could say it loud enough for everyone else in line to hear. But they`d hear that and think ‘sure, you`re just another greedy bastard who`d refuse help to starving animals just so you can go to Subway later and gorge yourself on a sandwich the size of a dachshund!’
So of course I said ‘yes.’ now I don`t know where that money is going or how it will be spent, but I do know this: if you ask too many questions of a charity you don`t look very charitable. When the little kids come to the door on a can drive, do you demand to see proof of their non-profit status? No! You assume everyone is honest, and everything`s on the up and up. And so I held my tongue, until now. I`m Andy Fales, and that`s what`s bugging me.