“Some Thoughts on the Activists Outside of Trader Joe’s”

I was leaving Trader Joe’s the other day, and this activist with a clipboard goes —

Activist: “Five seconds to stop racism?”

I was like —

Josh: “Wow.  Just like that?”

I gotta be honest — I don’t know if I do want to stop racism.  I’d lose a lot of stand-up material.

Then, a few weeks later, the guy caught me leaving again.  This time, he asked —

Activist: “Five seconds to stop bullying?”

I yelled —

Josh: “Get outta of my face, fatty!”

…which I thought was really funny — until I realized that I was performing for an audience of no one.

* * *

I hate these Trader Joe’s activists.  They’re always asking for money I don’t have like —

Activist: “Two dollars to help poverty?”
Josh: “I’ve been unemployed for six months.  If I give you two dollars…” {pointing to myself} “…there will be more poverty!”

And they’re hypocrites, these people — because when they ask, there’s usually a homeless man sitting right next to them.  He’s looking up at the activist like —

Homeless man: “We don’t need the middle man here!”

I also hate how these activists say they’re “raising awareness” because raising awareness doesn’t do anything.  It’s just a dude with a clipboard going —

Dude with a clipboard: {pointing} “Look!  Starving kid.”

And do they really still believe that signatures affect law?  The president doesn’t stop his meetings to be like —

President: “Wait a minute, everybody.  It seems that a lot of people don’t like the way we’re handling guns.  And to prove it, they gave me their names.”

At least if you’re going to raise awareness, raise it about something people don’t already know about.  Something nice like —

Activist: “We’re raising awareness about how attractive you are, Josh Lehrman.”
Josh: “What?  Thank you.  Now that’s a good cause!”

* * *

I like to try a few tactics to get these people to stop pestering me.  If they say —

Activist: “We’re raising money for breast cancer.”

I say —

Josh: “Oh, that’s great.  ‘Cause I have breast cancer.  How much did you raise for me?”

Or I like to pretend to be on the other side of the issue.

Activist: “We’re raising money to save the whales.”
Josh: “Fuck whales!  Fucking…  MMMMMH!!!” {yelling into the sky} “WHAAAALES!!!”

One time — and I’m not proud of this — I told someone with a clipboard that I didn’t want to talk to them because — and I quote — “I was raped by someone in your organization.”  (And by the way, I support Planned Parenthood.)

* * *

Ultimately, though, I’m just taking these interactions way too seriously.  Why do I have such a crippling fear about getting on an e-mail list?  It’s like —

Activist: “Five seconds for world hunger?”
Josh: “I’m not gonna give you my information.  You’ll send me e-mails every week or so!  What’ll I do?  Just use the delete button?  Unsubscribe?  No, that’s too rational!”

Sign Outside of Trader Joe's

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