I am doing a slow burn today,  looking at six pallets of junk that ended up in the warehouse because of my stupidity. A compassionate person I shall not name held a donation drive for tornado victims in Alabama, but she couldn’t find a truck to transport the donations. She tells me the donations are all useful items such as paper towels, cleaning supplies, hygiene products – stuff people actually need after a disaster. I say I will take them and distribute them to our nonprofits.

I am stupid. The “donations” are junk. What are people thinking? You have just lost your house and all your possessions in a natural disaster of epic proportions and what you certainly do not need are the following:

A greasy scratched electric skillet. Yes, that will be so appetizing to cook with. If you even have electricity, which you do not because you have

Greasy scratched skillet

just lost your friggin’ house and they don’t allow cooking in nasty skillets in the Motel 6 where you are staying while you ponder how to put your life back together. But someone thought this would be useful. No, that’s not true. Someone thought, “Oh, goodie, I can get rid of that nasty thing and feel good about myself at the same time.” No, you cannot feel good about yourself. Not at all.

Or how about this one: a frosting spreader. Yes, indeed. The first priority on the list of recovery after a disaster is to bake a cake in the oven you just lost to the twister without the electricity you don’t have anyway. Are you kidding me? Would the generous donor really feel good standing before a tornado survivor and saying, “Here you go. Have a nice day.” These pallets are almost completely loaded with this kind of crap. Sorry, junk.

I didn’t even shoot photos of the bags upon bags of ratty old clothes, dirty stuffed animals, broken suitcases and the odd lampshade or frayed decorative pillow. But I couldn’t pass up this one: two weightlifting belts. “Hey, honey,” I can just imagine some burly guy saying to his wife. “I know there are a lot of displaced weightlifters in the state of Alabama right now and even though I love my old weightlifting belts, I’m going to make a sacrifice and donate them.”

Before our own flooding disaster in 2010, I don’t think I understood the incredible insult people add to injury when they clean out their attic and plop their discards down on your doorstep for you to throw in the trash, which is what the donors should have done in the first place.

So to end this on a positive note, the next time there is a disaster of any type please purchase and donate the following:

1. Personal hygiene products

2. Paper products

3. New, NEW, clothing, particularly underwear and socks.

4. Cleaning supplies and tools such as mops and brooms.

5. Money. If you really want to help, donate money.

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