Friday, December 8, 2006

A Sobering Reminder of Life's Precious Valuableness

From time to time it can be beneficial to remember those people who, in certain periods of history, have been forced to live under oppressive and trying circumstances. Consider, for a moment, the plight of the young white heterosexual American middle-class male in the early years of the 21st century. 'Tis true, I myself am a member of this habitually repressed and downtrodden minority, so let me relate to you my story, or a small part of it anyway, so that you may be humbled, and so that you may come to look on us young white heterosexual American middle-class males as something more than the untouchable, subhuman monsters we are often made out to be in the media.

I might as well begin in the shower, for that is where people like me often find ourselves after waking and before breakfast. Today when I stepped into the tub, I noticed that the bar of soap on the little shelfy thing was worn down to a thin slice, making it fragile and difficult to grip. Ordinarily, I would have simply stepped out of the tub and fetched a new bar of soap from behind the bathroom mirror. But here's where tragedy struck: I realized I had already TURNED ON THE WATER, meaning I was already wet, and therefore unable to step out of the tub without dripping water ALL OVER the bathroom floor. Thus I was forced to bathe my entire body using a small, slippery shard of Lever 2000. At one point, I actually began to fear that I wouldn't have enough soap left to sufficiently scrub both of my shins. Luckily, a Red Cross worker happened to be passing by on the street below my window and heard my desperate cries for help. She rushed to my door (the door of the building, so I had to quickly towel off and buzz her in), then sprinted up the five flights of stairs to my apartment, where she found me (back in the tub now) trying pathetically to pick up the tiny soap from where I'd dropped it moments earlier. I just couldn't get a grip on the damn thing. I was on the verge of tears. At that moment my savior took swift action, retrieving a brand-new bar of Red Cross soap from her first-aid kit, removing the sleek paper wrapper, and handing it to me gently around the edge of the shower door, whispering soothing words of comfort and reassurance all the while.

A close call, to be sure. But luck is not always on our side. That's why it's so vitally important to keep people like me in your thoughts this holiday season. And if one of our number chance to bump into you on the street or subway, pause a moment before you berate him, a moment in which you may endeavor to see past the surface and peer into his true soul. Perhaps then you will finally recognize him for what he is: a human being, just like you.

On that note, I humbly exhort you, my readers, to make a modest contribution—whatever you can afford—to the Matt Walker Grooming & Hygiene Fund. I accept all major credit cards (yeah, even Diners Club—can you believe it?). Thank you, and have a bless├ęd day.

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