'Money... that's all I wanted for Christmas. Enough money to pay for my exorbitant medical bills so my family wouldn't be saddled with crushing debt after I was gone.
So when I received an email which stated: "A donation has been made in your name to Affluenza Afflicted Angels," I was furious. Who was giving money in my name to some charity I never heard of and certainly didn't support? The only charity I was interested in was me!
I went on their website; the home page was dominated by a photograph of a sobbing 2-year-old surrounded by a gazillion of the newest toys and electronic gadgets and the following definition:
Affluenza, a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, a sense of isolation and an inability to find satisfaction even in the costliest merchandise.
The website featured a picture of an adorable baby chewing on a raggedy stuffed rabbit and the following caption:
Little 18-month-old Brian suffers from a socially transmitted condition marked by overwhelm, anxiety, underage debt and waste resulting from the juvenile pursuit of more. But, it's not his fault! Brian wants more, because he deserves more, and with your generous contribution, he'll get more. To date. we at Affluenza Afflicted Angels. are proud to state that we have raised more than eight million dollars to help Brian and other less fortunate children like him. Won't you give what you can to put a stop to this anguish?"
Eight million dollars!
I made a beeline for the world headquarters of Affluenza Afflicted Angels which was located in a suite at the Pierre hotel. My plan was to retrieve mny donation and somehow tap into the eight million dollar mother load. I entered a room littered with discarded second and third generation X-Men and Ipads -- last year's Christmas toys -- that had been cast aside to make way for newer models.
A woman greeted me.
Linda: I demand a refund, I said pulling out a copy of my email receipt.
Woman: Well it was a group donation -- there are over 450 names including President Obama and Angelina Jolie, so it would be hard to figure out your share. I think the total gift was only $2,000.
Linda: Talk about cheap! $2,000 wouldn't even cover one of my cat scans!
Woman: I think once you understand the valuable work we're doing, you'll probably want to
donate to our operating fund. Here, let me introduce you to one of our lucky miracle angels.
Carson, look, we have a visitor.
A little 3- year-old boy was glued to a computer screen. He didn't bother to look up.
Carson: Just weave the check wif her, he said in perfect baby talk.
Woman: Oh no, she's here for a refund; she wants to withdraw her share from a Christmas gift donation.
Carson: You can't do dat, he screeched. If evwebody take their money back ... he said between sobs and sniffs... I wom' have enuff for my gift. He wiped his baby brow and pointed to the screen: Gold Nintendo Game Boy $30,000.
I read the description:
A quick game of Tetris will never feel as chic (or heavy) as when it is played on a $30,000 18K Gold Game Boy. For the fanciest of gamers, the original hand held system is covered in pave diamonds and the on/off button is a diamond as well.
Carson was now hysterical. Tears streamed down from his baby blue eyes onto his pudgy apple cheeks. I found my heart going out to the little guy. What could be more devastating than not getting what you had your heart set on for Xmas?
Woman: Look Carson! There's a 14K model for just $20,000. We have enough money for that.
Carson: It doesn't haf a diamond on/off button! It's just a sapphire like some stupid Cartier watch!
This brought about a fresh round of tears.
I forgot all about having my donation returned, not to mention absconding with the eight million dollar AAA fund. I had a strong desire to take out my check book and make a huge after-tax gift to Carson -- until I remembered I no longer had a checking account.
I left the headquarters with a heavy heartt. Outside a Salvation Army Santa was ringing his bell. "Scrooge you," I snarled. I gave a swift kick to his money bucket which only had about three dollars worth of change in it. Immediately I felt better. Feeling better is what Christmas is all about after all.
Buy several hundred copies of my book and see how good you feel.