Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day #435 Church Hams

Don’t ever plan a book-signing on a day when a local mega-church is giving away 5,000 hams. Last Saturday a local church – one of those that has a sanctuary that looks like a football stadium and holds almost as many people – booked the local ballpark for a giveaway event. Drive through, open your trunk, and church volunteers will put a Honey Baked Ham in there.
It sounded like a very good idea. Even I, with no TV, heard about it, because I saw an article placed prominently in the paper. And I was glad that families who couldn’t afford a big holiday meal would, like Bob Crachit’s family, delight in a feast.
The trouble is, Books for Less was holding an Author Gala that day, from 1:00 to 4:00, with eight local authors signing books, a band providing music, and lots of goodies to eat.
The roads were so jammed for five or more MILES around the stadium, nobody could get to the store. The band never made it. One author showed up three hours late, and another one got there only because her husband drove her in their golf cart along the sidewalks! For the first hour and a half of the signing event, we authors were the only ones in the store besides the staff. The good news is that we all had lots of goodies to eat.
Interstate 85 was, I heard, at a standstill for 15 miles south of the exit.

That’s ridiculous. I’m very happy that the church leaders wanted to be so generous. But whatever happened to the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing? Isn’t that the way charity is supposed to work?
Businesses were badly hurt by the fact that for an entire day people simply couldn’t reach them. People waiting in line with their engines running for two, three, or even four hours, probably spent more on gas than they would have paid if they’d bought their own ham. And several people who did make it into the store told us that there were more luxury cars in the ham-line than there were the old clunkers you’d expect people to be driving if they were truly needy.

So, next year (when the church has said they’re going to give away 10,000 hams, since this event was so successful), I wish they’d quietly give those hams to other churches, to the Salvation Army, to the various food banks around the Metro area, and let them distribute to those who truly need the food.
And let the bookstores have their customers.

BEEattitude for Day #435:
       Blessed are those who refrain from robbing the hives of other bees, for their consciences shall be clear.

p.s. from Fran: Today is the first day of the last year on the Mayan Calendar. Just thought you'd like to know.

Happy Solstice!

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my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.

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