by John Gosselink
to the 2005 spring “Stumbling Forward” pledge drive! We understand that this break
in our regular programming is disconcerting to many of our readers, but it is
a necessary evil if we are going to continue bringing you all of the fine writing
you’ve come to expect. Please take a few minutes to call us with your pledge and…..
Yeah, I know. There is no way in the world you’re buying this nonsense. But work
with me. I got this idea from the PBS and NPR fundraisers. They just ask and folks
call up and give them money. What a deal! I’m trying the same thing except without
all the fancy words, culture, and guys wearing turtlenecks. Prepare yourself to
be guilted and cajoled into sending me some cash, sucker! (If actually considering
donating money, please disregard the word “sucker” and continue writing your check).
Many people don’t understand the costs involved bringing you quality writing week
after week, excluding those weeks when my Sunday afternoon nap runs a little too
long or play poker Saturday night and am too hungover to turn anything in.
those weeks something does get turned in are expensive. This isn’t just plopping
a shaved monkey in front of a keyboard and hitting print an hour later. Okay,
the monkey part is kind of true, but it takes longer than an hour.
order for what we like to call “the magic” to happen requires a capital-intensive
procedure. There’s the obvious costs of word processor, thesaurus, and “Techniques
and jokes you can rip-off from Dave Berry” book. But to be in the right frame
of mind, we need a Swedish full body massage first. And not one of those Sven
ones either, an Ingrid or Bridget one is what we’re talking about.
don’t know, but we’re also pretty sure a 42” plasma TV with stereo system would
help improve the quality. And a bass boat, definitely need a bass boat if we’re
going to bring you the best writing we can.
You’re probably wondering
how your piddly little, embarrassingly small donation is going to help with these
high dollar needs. It can, because of the three most important words in fund raising
– volume, volume, and volume. It’s not only your responsibility to send in money,
but to also pester your friends and loved ones, even strangers, until they do
too. Maybe go door to door, have a bake sale in front of the supermarket, stand
at an intersection in Austin with the 23 year old “Vietnam vet, God Bless” sign
guys and Guatemalan nurses in blinding white uniforms. If we get enough people
pledging, together we can do wonderful things.
Did you know that if five
of ya’ll pledged just the money you spend on a cup of coffee a day for a year,
we could get a new lawn mower? Maybe even one of those real nice Scag ones with
the cool steering system that looks like your pod racing Anakin Skywalker on planet
Tatooine. If we’re talking Starbucks prices, we could get one with a canopy.
If ten of you send in the money you waste on rent and/or food, we would not have
the weight of worrying about paying the mortgage month after month on our mind
and we can invest all of our mental faculties to this column.
And if 100
of ya’ll get off your rears, take a second job, and really show your devotion
to the finer arts, I can send this baby in from Aruba every week. They have the
internet there, right? So why not? Though, you’ll probably get a lot of 800 word
pieces on little umbrellas in fruity drinks and tan lines.
If that’s not
enough motivation, Mr. Selfish not wanting to help the aesthetic enhancers of
life, keep in mind that it will also earn you one of our quality premiums depending
on the club level you join. If you wish to join our “pathetic loser whose a little
too tight with the money” club and pledge $23, you’ll receive a “SF” coffee mug*.
(*disclaimer, by “mug” we mean aluminum can, by “coffee” we mean beer leavings).
If you wish to join our “getting better, but why not dip into the kid’s
college fund” club and pledge $87.43, we’ll send you the official “SF” totebag*
(*bag is plastic Brookshire Brothers’ bag with “Stumbling Forward” written in
marker by our four year old. She’s practicing her letters).
If you want
to truly fulfill your obligations with the “now you’re talking; how about coming
over and washing my truck also” club with a donation $217, you will be sent an
photocopied autographed picture of me with this guy who looks like Martin Mull.
It’s not Martin Mull (is he even still alive?), but if the toner is low on the
copier, it’s fuzzy enough to really look like him circa 1978. And it’s my autograph,
though I could fake Martin’s if you throw in a few more bucks.
are standing by, though the wife screens our calls and if she doesn’t recognize
the name, she won’t answer. So you’re better off just leaving cash in a paper
bag on our doorstep.
Oh yeah, one more thing. If you’re planning to write
this off as a charitable donation, please don’t use our name. Thanks for your
© John Gosselink
1, 2005 column