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Which One Doesn't Eat Tonight?

I am generally known to my friends as a sensitive, caring person, prone to being overwhelmed with feelings of empathy for my fellow humans. Even when I bought stock in RJR Tobacco, they understood that I was doing it in a caring way, with only the best motivations. The kick-ass dividend rate had nothing to do with it.

That is why I feel a need to say that what I am writing might come across as a bit crass.

Northwest Harvest is a noble and worthwhile local non-profit organization, dedicated to feeding the poor. They recently put up a billboard near my house, with the intent of playing on my better emotions to garner donations. Said board depicts three ragged children sitting on a stoop, looking sadly at the camera. The caption reads "Which one doesn't eat tonight?"

So, since they asked, I looked at the three moppets, trying to come up with a good answer. The boy on the left looked like a real never-do-well, a total spare-changing street rat if I ever saw one. So no food for him. The boy in the middle had a pleasant enough face, but his scrawny frame and needy demeanor marked him a likely future abuser of heroin. So no food for him. And the one on the right was, well, a girl. So no food there either.

So how the heck am I supposed to pick just one? I mean, come on. Empathy and love is all very well and good, but sometimes you just want to be the only one in the lifeboat. If I could pick two, that would be OK. Spare the one in the middle, if I must. But only one?

So anyway, I go to the Northwest Harvest web site, looking for the online form where I can vote which one doesn't get fed. There isn't one! I must have missed the vote! How can they ask this question, causing me to waste valuable brain processing time on this life-and-death question, and then just end the vote? I'm sure it all ended up for the best, but I really, really hate that kid on the left!

Well, anyway, as I said, I'm a caring person. An apathetic person wouldn't spend half as much time thinking about this issue as I have. I really hope it worked out in a cleansing way, but I can't spend any more time worrying about it. Philip Morris stock is starting to look cheap, and I got to go get me some.

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