The Upper Crust

It wasn’t much of an eventful day other than it being just a tad bit too warm outdoors, and since I wasn’t able to get my outside chores done yesterday, I braced myself for the heat and jumped in head-first.

Before venturing out, I had several phone calls to make to customers who’d emailed me after I left the office yesterday. I also made sure I had enough bottled water with me since I knew I’d be sweating a great deal while out there.

I did keep telling myself to take my time and not rush because that’s when people get over-heated. About every half hour or 45 minutes I took a break and hit the water bottle. I’m sure there were a few people who must’ve thought me touched when seeing me out in it, and certainly didn’t see anyone else in their yards.

After I finished up my yard chores, I headed over to my little project and worked there for several hours until I figured I’d done enough for one day. Thank goodness I always have a change of clothes at my office because I was wet from head to toe, and since I had to make a stop at the grocery store, I wasn’t about to go in there looking like I did.

As chance would have it, I happened to run into a woman out in the parking lot whom I worked with in real estate a great number of years ago. Since I hadn’t seen her for some time, we shared recent happenings in our lives. Of course the hot topic was our not having received invitations to a party that was being held several weeks ago.

We both got a good laugh over how much some people really think themselves to be the upper crust and pretend as though they’re the richest, the smartest, the most beautiful, the most popular, and of course the best dressed. Really? In Mason City Iowa? I don’t think so. I’m actually glad I didn’t receive an invitation because that saved me from having to buy a card along with wasting a stamp.

While writing this, it just came to mind something that took place about five years ago. Well, it all started when I was approached by one of the “upper crust” who was asking if I’d be willing to donate money towards a good cause regarding something our area seniors were needing. I didn’t even hesitate to grab my checkbook and write out a check for $50, but what made me internally furious, was when some weeks later, a senior citizen approached me saying, “Seems everyone was trying make a sick joke in our circle about how one of them managed to get $50 out of you.” The making of wise cracks about my innocent free-will offering was forgiven, but not forgotten.

Whenever hearing of people turning good deeds into something satirical, it’s no wonder all the more steer away from getting involved in fundraising events. I know another gentleman who used to be very charitable, but it soon turned into a never-ending begging from random charities until he finally turned the tap off completely. I told him at the time that once you’re on someone’s mailing list, it gets passed around to just about every non-profit organization in this Country.

I’m personally aware of how much those charities have a hold on people, because my mother would get a half-full mailbox every day from religious, social, and political non-profits. One of my dear sisters made an active attempt to get many of them stopped, but that was like spitting on a forest fire. The postman sure had his work-out with all of her mail, and to this day, whenever seeing him, I give him a good teasing. What I find a bit scary, is how so many of our elderly are being duped into thinking the money they’re giving is actually going for good causes, when in reality, I’d wager that on average only 10 – 20% is actually going towards the intended, and the remainder going to fund pool-side parties near a Florida beach.

If I have time tomorrow, I absolutely must go and take a picture of a small clump of wild strawberries I found growing while I was out working today. I didn’t have my camera with me, but you can be sure I’ll be getting a shot of them because I can’t even remember the last time I found a patch. They’re so cute! If I had a small raised flowerbed, I’d dig a few of them up and nurture them as I would an exotic ornamental. I was so shocked when first seeing them that I was in a bit of denial of them being what they were. What you don’t see when you haven’t got your camera.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Praise undeserved, is satire in disguise.

Joe Chodur

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