Benevolent Economics

Charity bags

I am becoming quite intent on finding a way to sterilise our letter box. Along with the traditional array of leaflets offering to deliver us pizza, sell our house, steam clean our interiors, and more recently and most curiously, offer instructions on ‘how to use a bus’, it has given birth to no less than 13 charity bags in the past week.

Now if you are one of the people lucky enough to live in an area not to receive such items, I shall explain. The ‘charity bag’ is gay-fully coloured plastic receptacle into which a home owner is invited to place their disregarded items for collection by the advertised charity. Now don’t get me wrong, I am very fond of the intent of such a notion, but they have become somewhat of an annoyance, for Mr F especially. I think it is more down to the frequency of their delivery that brings me out in a cold sweat. You see I’m a charitable soul normally, and I’m struggling to cope with the insurmountable pressure of striving to improve the life chances of children in Africa, the elderly, the homeless, sufferers of gout, chronic nasal congestion and flaky scalps, and I can’t bare to think about those poor donkeys who continue to suffer northerners on beach holidays.

The things is though, I have worked out that with an average of 13 bags a week, and having counted the number of items in my wardrobe, by placing one item in each bag would see me out of apparel in 3.4 weeks. That means I would be shopping for an entire new look over 15 times a year, and given the amount of time I normally require Mr F to sit outside a changing room whilst I preen and twirl, 32.5 hours of his life would likely be spent landing helicopters on his smartphone while all the time the fence still is not getting painted. Furthermore, the extent of funds required to provide regular offerings to the charity bags would also well exceed £2000 a year, and that’s without discounted Ugg boots on eBay.

So I continue to collect charity bags, feeling too guilty about throwing them away with their destiny unfulfilled, and for the fact they are made of non-recyclable plastic, but unable to keep up with the pace of the donation regime. Thoughts are that I begin to fill them with the ‘Emperor’s Clothes’ and leave them as requested at our gate, fashion them into a piece of public art Neil Buchanan stylee, or I am rather taken with the idea of their potential for ponchos. If you have any suggestions, I would be a grateful recipient before our house is overrun! Any really good ones will be implemented.

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