Friday, June 06, 2003

I felt fine today, but--and I really should have known better--didn't reckon with my favorite place in the world, the glorious city of Philadelphia.

So I was driving to the forced-volunteerism place, fighting my way through rush hour on City Line Avenue, and, finally, I made it off Roosevelt Boulevard, at the point where I needed to use the directions they gave me. Fine. Wayne Avenue/Germantown Avenue exit. Marked incredibly badly, but, found it. Check.

Turn left on Greene. Check. Then right on Penn, and look for--hey!

There's a big friggin' hole in the middle of Greene Street. I don't mean a pothole. A massive, twenty-foot-wide trench. With a lovely "road closed" sign in front of it. There is nothing I can do but make a right, given that everything is one-way.

And then I was out of there. Did I perhaps drive around looking for an alternate route? Sadly, no. Did I stop and ask directions at one of the sure-to-be-friendly halal markets on Germantown Avenue? I confess not.

I just left.

The concept of forced volunteerism bothers me on so many levels, especially when the people organizing it can't be bothered to give up to date directions. So I just drove over to the store and ate crummy fried chicken with Bob and yelled at Games Workshop for sending junk mail to the store in the name of "Sue Erkes" and watched Bob throw this kid out of the store just for being annoying. A lot more fun, I'd say, than trying to look earnest and responsible all day in the name of a company that is hanging its employees out to dry.

And does it bother me that The Germantown Boys And Girls Club didn't get its free day of labor from me?

Not a bit.

Every day my seed money and my labor helps give Bob and Sheila and twelve-year-old Megan a livelihood. It helps keep open a store that's a safe place for kids to learn reading and social interaction and friendly competition and dedication to a project. I make no apologies. None.

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