How Do You Sleep At Night?

To whomever had the bright idea of printing return-address labels in the names of people on donor lists, and sending them out nowadays with contribution drives made by every nonprofit, charitable organization, you should receive a Pulitzer Prize for Fund-raising Ingenuity!

Also, that individual should find the grains of desert sand, encrusted from inside a thousand camels’ hooves, implanted in his or her bed upon their sliding in between the sheets when hitting the hay. Why? Because I’d like to know how they sleep at night otherwise.

Instead of complaining and keeping all those labels, I should toss them out like I’ve learned to do with Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entries. Right now, I must have enough of the former to plaster on envelopes until the next century, although my time left on this astral plane will certainly last just one-quarter of that time at the most.

It has to do with the “Guilt Factor,” receiving something personal in the mail during a fund-raiser, and feeling obligated to donate some cash in return. Formerly, it was easy to throw out the entire correspondence before opening, treating it like the rest of the junk found in the mailbox.

Now, instead of little envelopes, business-sized enclosures: 13″ long by 10″ wide are filled with their assorted junk like miscellaneous greeting cards, various-occasion stickers, pens, stationary, planner leaflets with one’s name embossed on the front, coins meant to be returned to the sender, etc.

Yesterday, I received a check in the post, made out to me for $2.50. Using the Guilt Factor, the nonprofit organization asked that it not be cashed, but sent back with a substantial donation to cover all the merchandise, postage and handling, plus for whatever they do that’s charitable.

I’ve got an idea. Stop sending the garbage to begin with. That will save them a boatload of money, and give me the opportunity to donate when I have a few extra bucks leftover from my fixed income, instead of their begging for funds again, immediately after receiving my most recent gift.

Retirees—well a good portion of us—aren’t made of money, doggone it; and I’m sure that applies to many of today’s working-class heroes.

Every month about this time is when I pay my bills and go through the junk-mail pile that’s accumulated from the past 30 days, thus spawning this week’s tirade.

What else is there to bitch about? How about one-upmanship? Now there’s something I can sink my teeth into. I find it a lot during my bird-watching sessions. Like today, I was photographing my neighborhood ospreys, a nesting pair who have just returned this week from their fall and winter migration to South America.

The male (on the right in the photo above) arrived on Monday, March 19th; and his mate came back this morning. I had been checking on them everyday for at least the past week, waiting for their return.

While I was sitting on my favorite fallen tree on the Delaware Riverbed this afternoon at low tide with my camera on its tripod, a couple of fellow bird-watchers stopped by. I mentioned the female had just returned, wanting to be the bearer of good news.

“Oh, I know,” the woman said. “We saw her earlier this morning.” She then went on to say the male arrived on Monday.  So much for being the first to notice.

Last year, a photographer, whom I find to be quite a braggart, claimed he was cited as being the first in the entire state to photograph a returning pair of ospreys; and they happened to be my beloved Andalusian raptors. He must have gotten there to photograph them early in the morning, because I had pictures of them from that afternoon.

That’s my problem, being a night owl, sleeping until at least 10 a.m. every day. Well, as the old saying goes, “The early bird captures the worm.” I like to think of it as the early worm gets eaten.

Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

Warning: vulgar language and NSFW

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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