The Effect of Forwards

When I receive forwards from friends or family, particularly ones warning me of the dangers of something or "informing" me of some obscure aspect of a policy, I immediately go to Snopes to check the validity of the information. I then typically hit "reply all" and send the results of my search out to all the other victims. Yes, I am that girl.

That said, it should be obvious why I feel that this one is worth sharing.

I just want to thank everyone for the educational emails over the past year...

Thanks to you, I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I can't enjoy lemon slices in my tea or on my seafood anymore because lemon peels have been found to contain all kinds of nasty germs including feces.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking your nose.

Eating a Little Debbie sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program .

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with HIV.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al-Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore and Uzbekistan.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman-Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $500 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a rapist waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician.

Have a wonderful day!


A Positive First Step

I remember the day I learned that Bush had implemented a policy to deny funding to all international aid groups that offered the option of, or even counseling about, abortion. It was one of his very first acts in office - and that day I hated him, perhaps more than I had hated anyone.

I was a sophomore in college, which goes to say that I was really a kid with a lot of fight in me ready to protest all the ills of the world. I had campaigned for Bill Bradley, then Gore, and although I would later come to respect some aspects of the Bush presidency after 9/11, on that day I hated him.

His act to showcase his strong pro-life stance and satisfy the fundamentalists who furthered his campaign also happened to cut funding for organizations that provided emergency protection for victims of oppression, abuse, rape, and war all across the world. Aid organizations in Africa assisting refugees of the war could no longer accept U.S. funds because they would counsel a woman on ALL of her options in a pregnancy (often as a result of an assault). Across Asia and Eastern Europe, budgets were slashed for organizations helping women in all kinds of perilous situations. Medical services groups like Planned Parenthood, that often serve as the primary health care provider for low-income women, couldn't rely on help from the U.S.. In my eyes, it was a devastating day.

I won't get into the argument about abortion - to me that's not what this is about - the U.S. was NEVER funding abortions. The idea of cutting funding to a group that offers counseling on abortion is a message that the U.S. will not help a fellow human because of an ideological belief. We will not help you with this concern, because the organization that is helping you will also tell someone else the truth about her choices. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, limiting NECESSARY healthcare because of this is ridiculous. It's like telling my coworker I won't work with her on a project because she disagreed with me on a personal issue. It's a petty punishment that has no place in the world relief conversation.

Obama changed that today.

I don't know that Obama is going to be a great president. I hope. I hope he will be, but I don't know that his leanings toward community organization and socialist principals will be the answer. Maybe. I do know, though, that this act is an incredible step in a good direction. We are telling the world that we will not let ideology get in the way of our place as a world power - we will help regardless of religious belief or ignorance about world situations.


Scary Day in a Quiet Neighborhood

The 36 yr old interior designer who lives next door to my office just knocked on our door crying. Wednesday afternoon (apparently right after I left work), a black man (meaning, someone we could NEVER identify in this neighborhood because it doesn't exist), came in through her back door (about 4pm), and bolted when her dog started growling and took off after him. The police say he came in through our alleyway door (the new interior store below leaves it open frequently), walked up our deck stairs, walked past my office's back door and into her apartment. They think, because of the time of day, how he got in, and some other things I don't know, that he was not coming in to burglarize, but to attack her. Police say it seems like he may have watched her for awhile to know that she lives alone, and that he knew she was there, and he knew we had left. He was wearing very heavy cologne, and she feels like she can still smell it. She came to our office because when she left she forgot her key and needed to get in through our windows. I'm glad she did, because she was incapable of going into her home alone. She was trembling and crying most of the time while I talked with her while she packed a weekend bag to go to her boyfriend's place. she's moving in with her boyfriend because she can't deal with being alone now. The guy didn't even touch her, but the violation of her space and the fear have totally changed her life - she is moving out herof her home of 5 years because she is too scared to be there, and she is now afraid to be alone.

This is a reminder to me that we can be lulled into a sense of security, but we still live in a big city and need to be safe. I, for one, noticed that one of our windows in the kitchen at the office (the window that this man walked right past and could have easily come into) doesn't lock. I just want to ask my girls out there to please take an extra moment today to make sure you're not allowing yourself to be a target.