And it looks like this.
As you may have worked out it’s not so much the charitable part, though charity does underpin it entirely, but the sheer waste of resources and effort involved. God knows how many millions of gallons of water were used up last year globally on this clueless wave of moronic bandwagon jumping. Roughly one fifth of the people on this planet don’t have access to clean and safe water on a daily basis. There’s a huge chance that you’re unlikely to be one of them. First there is the water, then the water and the electricity to make the ice, then the water to wash out the container so daddy doesn’t end up with a used condom or brown make up pad on his head and then there’s probably the water used to wash the wet clothes everyone has ended up in. And what ground gets watered? That shitty bit of half dead grass at the bottom of the garden where the kid’s paddling pool sits all summer. Abandoned. Happy days!
For all that is achieved why not just do something simple like the ‘standing in your shed challenge’, where you have to stand upright in your shed on a blistering summer day until you pass out. Or the ‘getting in and out of bed challenge’, whatever that is. The best could be the ‘breath holding challenge’ where you are sponsored by the second. This January ‘the wife’ and I both completed the Dryathlon, no alcohol for a month, for Cancer Research. For most people probably a breeze. Ever so slightly tough for me, but at least it didn’t waste anything, and I probably drank less water not having raging thirsts etc. This isn’t me asking for praise by the way, I did this for my liver, not just for Cancer Research. The other day in Sherborne I was asked on the street by a humble charity bod if I would like to give money for cancer. In my morbid head I reasoned that since I had never really wanted cancer I had no idea why someone would expect me to pay to get it.
A genuine challenge which would show an understanding of our water cycle, raise far more cash and give a heightened appreciation of the effects of dehydration on the human body would be the ‘piss bucket’ challenge. Simply, and no need to rush, fill a big bucket with piss. Start with your own of course, but you may have to involve your family, friends and pets too because you can’t face the challenge until the bucket is completely full, and it might start smelling a little funky after a few days. Once done just follow the usual process and have some brave soul empty the bucket over your head. The suffering involved would qualify it as a ‘challenge’ and the water you’d save on flushing the toilet would be a most noble gesture.
Anyway, we live in a world where charities, big, smug charities, can manipulate us with adverts for clean water in Africa while Darth and his unruly clan are having a fucking ball in the garden, claiming falsely to be doing something similar. Charity is just so cynical these days. It makes me look like Mr Upbeat of Optimistic Mansion. Why, for instance, would I want to go to an Oxfam music shop and spend more money on an old cd (one of the ones with an Our Price sticker still on it) in a cracked, fucked up case than on a new copy online? I mean, overall, who the fuck do Oxfam think they are. They seem to have taken on the mantle of Most Important Charity Organisation. EVER. Go into Oxfam and buy two paperbacks and a pair of dead man’s trousers and you’d have thought you’d just done your monthly food shop in Harrods. Only in today’s world could a charity be so far up its own arsehole; making up new rules as it goes along and tramping, like a giant legion of stormtroopers over its ‘competitors’. You’re a charity, not Russia. Why can’t I slip into Sue Ryder once in a while? Boom boom. Or go to the Pet Rescue shop for my next Dan Brown book?
When I was a young man and could still remember stuff, charities were fairly benign institutions represented chiefly by grey old sorts, smelling of wee and lavender, with tins. They would just stand, avoiding direct or confrontational eye contact in the hope, no….faith, that you would appreciate their cold weather efforts and chuck a few coins their way. Usually in exchange for a crap sticker which is removed the moment you turn the corner because it makes you look a bit nobby. I’m sure someone once told me it was illegal or just frowned upon to rattle the tin in case passers-by felt a wave of guilt and coughed up some cash. This is called manipulation, a characteristic found most frequently in weeping spouses and cats. I have one of each, in case you were wondering. These days charities are ruthless, conniving, competitive and so blatantly manipulative that I can feel the loose change in my pocket actually teaming up to make it harder to extract. What’s sad is that all our collective efforts to save the world are failing, slowly, sadly, and unstoppably, but that’s for another time. Charity collectors no longer wield a humble tin. Oh no, no need for a fucking tin here sir, I have a clipboard, a pen, a laminated identity badge, possibly a glow in the dark water proof jacket, a colleague to intimidate you and, of course because why wouldn’t you….a wireless card reader. That’s right, we don’t think it is acceptable in modern times for you to walk the streets enjoying the small pleasures before the planet implodes in an orgy of self-centred grasping, hatred and jealousy. Why not simply give us your bank details so that we can set up a direct debit and extract your hard earned wonga (not Wonga.com, they’re just shitty criminals) and then once you’ve forgotten why £28 a month disappears from your account we’ll pass your details on to a variety of unimaginative toilet mops so even more goes to another worthy cause that achieves the square route of fuck all. For every person helped another 3 pop out the next day, and that really is scary. Well Mr and Mrs 21st Century Charity, I’m getting bored just thinking about you, so for now you can just bugger off.
G B Hewitt 21.11.2015
Note! Since I wrote all this 2 things happened that spring to mind and my defence. First there was that poor old pensioner who died from stress because she was bombarded by request letters from dozens of oily charity fuckers. Then that grotesque woman from The Kids Company failed to convince anyone that she wasn’t a corrupt, selfish, lying ratbag. Now tell me I’m not onto something!
I’ve finished now.