Charities exist for every conceivable purpose: to bring food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, clothing to the threadbare, medicine to the infirm, sanctuary to the displaced and help to the helpless.
Charity is good. I encourage people to enthusiastically champion a cause. But you needn’t wait for a disaster or look to a third-world country to do your part. I’m a firm believer that charity begins at home.
In keeping with that philosophy, I’d like to introduce you to my favorite cause.
It’s called Charity: Me.
By donating generously to Charity: Me you can sponsor your own Starving Artist.
The Starving Artist is an endangered breed. They can be found living in garages, crawl spaces, garden sheds, Volvos and other seemingly uninhabitable places. They hoard expensive art supplies that they afford by shopping in thrift stores, begging leftovers from friends’ refrigerators and busting up vending machines for spare change. You’ll often catch glimpses of them scurrying through the darkness on the way from Starbucks back to their hovel. They are rarely seen in the daytime. They care not where they live or what they have to do to survive, so long as they are free to indulge their creative spirit.
Starving Artists aren’t like other people. An inborn compulsion to immerse themselves in creative work renders them completely unable to function in normal society. They are not capable of holding a ‘real job.’ They are unable to show up on time, work in cubicles, play well with others, tolerate incompetence, feign affection for co-workers, or stomach office politics. They are prone to doodling in the margins of company reports, making copies of body parts on the Xerox machine and drawing unflattering caricatures of their bosses during staff meetings. They cannot be domesticated enough to be saddled with routine or a regular schedule. A Starving Artist is therefore largely unemployable, leaving them to survive solely on their god-given talents.
You, and Charity: Me can help.
Your monetary contribution can sponsor a Starving Artist, providing them with food, clothing, shelter, horse expenses and their daily infusion at the Starbucks Medical Center.
Many levels of participation are available.
$100 per month will ensure your Starving Artist a daily ration of medicinal beverage from Starbucks. This is critical to the creative process! The vast majority of bad art is the direct result of an improperly caffeinated Artist.
$175 per month will provide the basics of water, electricity, ultra-high-speed internet access and premium cell phone service with text messaging and multi-media capability for your Starving Artist. An additional $30 for cable TV will afford them dozens of channels filled with mind-numbing reality shows (which are the only respite an Artist gets from the incessant demands of the creative muse).
Starving Artists have a congenital defect that makes operating kitchen appliances impossible and, very often, dangerous. $350 per month will provide your Starving Artist delicious, nutritious food from the prepared foods section at Whole Foods while keeping them safely out of the kitchen.
$500 per month will pay your Starving Artist’s over-inflated insurance premiums, ensuring that they can afford prescription drugs to combat their multiple neuroses, the occasional Pap smear and, for more ‘mature’ Artists, the inevitable colonoscopy and menopause supplements.
Horses are a necessary form of therapy for the aforementioned neuroses, critical to the Starving Artist’s well being, and are not covered by the aforementioned medical plan. $750 per month will ensure that your Starving Artist’s horse has shelter, food, veterinary and farrier care and an endless supply of carrots and beer (don’t ask).
$900 per month will pay for a nice converted garage-studio in a suitably funky neighborhood and will keep your Starving Artist from wandering the streets, sleeping in public parks and showering at Wal-Mart. For an additional $120 you can put gas in their car, eliminating their need to push their vehicle into a no-parking zone, hide inside it, and wait for it to get towed to get from place to place.
In return for your generous contribution, your Starving Artist will provide you with photos, weekly email and Facebook updates, and most likely requests for more cash, since Artists rarely have any concept of numbers or spending. You’ll be kept apprised of your Starving Artist’s progress and given additional opportunities to fund their projects which will come to you in the form of pleading, begging, requests, demands and, eventually, threats and notarized legal documents.
You can be assured that 100% of every dollar you give goes directly to your Starving Artist. All operating costs for Charity: Me are covered by….well, there ARE no operating costs. Nevermind.
Remember, your Starving Artist’s rent is due on the first! Respond with your email address, credit card and bank account numbers and start contributing to Charity: Me today.