The Way We Live Now: ringing bells. Alone, at home, by ourselves, where no one else can hear. The Salvation Army is an untenable burden on our souls. All we want is Jesus' blessing, and a small but reasonable bribe.

In Washington DC, Giant food stores told the Salvation Army they can't ring their god damn cursed bells in front of their stores any more. We'll skip their so-called "explanation" and speculate that the reason is that the ringing of the cursed bells intrudes on our brain, reminding us that there are those less fortunate than ourselves. Nobody needs that, especially not at Christmas, when we're supposed to be happy ourselves.

Also, most grocery stores work for The Grinch.

Will it take a blessing from Jesus, Buddha, Jewish god, and whoever the Hindu cow god may be to ensure that we are free to purchase our ground chuck∧, if we choose, consume it, right there in the Giant Food parking lot, in "burger" form (or not, it's our choice (freedom))—simply to ensure that we are allowed to complete our paltry holiday shopping without interference from greedy Santa-suited ringers of cursed bells, enticing us to drop our precious coins into a red pot to be whisked off to who knows where for who knows what nefarious "charity" purposes?

Well. Obviously god knows where the money goes, but that's not a matter for our mortal minds to fret about.

If Jewish god or cow god or Jesus god wants us to do differently, he'll tell us. In the meantime we're meant to follow our very own god-given instincts, which, at this moment in American history, are telling us to demand a hefty "success fee" just for doing our jobs normally, on the theory that, hey, we can always use some more cash in the ol' pocket.

Our instincts are also telling us to launch a child porn empire with Barbie dolls. Instincts! You so crazy. As long as you don't involve any cursed charitymongering bells, we'll never stop loving you. [Photo: qnr]