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Pennies A Day

High point from yesterday's newspaper: an EXPOSE of those Save the Children type programs, where you supposedly adopt some poor, twiggy third world kid. You send a dollar or so a day, and, in return, they buy the kid food, medicine, a Pentium, schooling, and his or her own AK-47. The problem, of course, is that it doesn't end up working that way.


My favorite thing, however, was how they found a bunch of cases of the generous westerner's kid dying, and the rich white devil not being told about it for years, as the monthly payments pile up. Those American families who supported little Esmerelda until she was 8, only to find out that she was eaten by wild dogs when she was 5, were understandably miffed.

Yet, I feel that Save the Children is missing a big marketing hook here. You see, it's an understandable problem keeping track of all the kids they're shilling. Maybe that's because they're approaching the problem from entirely the wrong direction:

(Opening shot of poor, frail, third-world child lying in dust, facing way from camera.)

Announcer: This is little Rico. Many poor children like Rico dream of food, of health care, or a better, happier future. Many of those children won't live to be ten.

(Vulture lands by Rico.)

Like, for example, Rico.

(Vulture starts picking at Rico's leg. Member of film crew walks up and disinterestedly kicks vulture away. It waits nearby.)

Normally, Rico would be devoured by vultures and wild dogs. His bones would be cleaned by ants, and hyenas would get the rest. Because humans have no souls, he would disappear from the universe forever.

(Vulture hops back up to Rico, and resumes picking. Member of film crew walks up, decides 'why bother?' and walks back off camera.)

But it doesn't have to be that way. For just pennies a day, you can make sure that Rico is interred with dignity in a pauper's grave. The additional payments go to make sure that Rico's grave isn't robbed. In addition, we send you yearly status reports on little Rico, to make sure that he is truly resting in peace.

(Two more vultures land. Wild dogs wait nearby.)

Imagine how your family will feel at Christmas, when you get a personal card from Rico, thanking you for your help.

(The dogs inch closer.)

But please hurry. Before long, there won't be much left of him.

(Fade to black. Save The Children appears on screen.)

Pay up, or Rico gets it.

(Sound of hyenas howling in background.)


What can I say? I'm a natural humanitarian. How, after all, can one not want to see Sally Struther's amazing talents put to the best use possible?

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