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What’s Next? Sponsoring Marijuana Use and Recreational Wife-Swapping?

Are there no workhouses…?

Today I was approached by a man who wanted to know if the Food Here Convenience Store would be interested in sponsoring a little league baseball team.

At first, I assumed he meant sponsor in the “Alcoholics Anonymous” sense of the word and was prepared to sign up immediately. As a regular seller of intoxicating beverages to underage drinkers I can’t help but feel I may have a social responsibility to assist and mentor those I’ve had a hand in corrupting.

My assumption, however, was entirely incorrect.

While the little league team may or may not be comprised of children with symptoms of early-onset alcohol abuse, the man had something vastly different in mind. Much to my surprise, his proposal was that I should consider paying for the clothing and equipment of middle class children so that they might participate in outdoor recreation.

Naturally, I found this request both perplexing and absurd.

Perhaps, I suggested, the families of these children might consider trimming their roster of Filipino nannies or designer telephones before seeking out financial assistance from the humble likes of me. Surely if they can afford uniforms for their housekeepers and gardeners some additional belt tightening might allow them to muster the resources to outfit their own offspring as well.

My visitor dismissed this notion and pressed on, advising me of the promotional opportunities inherent in this offer.

I pooh-poohed his assertion at once. Having sold these youngsters a steady diet of soda, candy and chips over the past several years I can personally attest to the fact that they are, in general, dangerously obese. Given their girth, I suspect their games would result in countless 10-year old cardiac arrests and – from a marketing perspective – do not think it wise for people to witness children being hauled from the field with the words “Food Here Convenience Store” emblazoned across their no longer beating chests.

Undeterred, my new friend appealed to my sense of community and the value of baseball as a teacher of self-discipline, responsibility and teamwork. This, of course, is patently untrue. I’ve witnessed a baseball game in the past and believe it teaches nothing other than the fact that it is inappropriate for men to wear stretch pants.

I countered that if these children are sincerely interested in learning life lessons I would be pleased to employ them in a small but functional sweatshop. It occurs to me that rather than wearing baseball jerseys they would be better served garnering practical experience in assembling them. In terms of teamwork and life lessons, few things provide greater education than working a 12-hour shift in front of an industrial sewing machine while a benign but demanding employer barks harsh commands at you in a foreign tongue.

My guest became agitated at this juncture and left the store in what can only be described as a huff. I do hope he returns, however, as I have already purchased a bolt of fabric, a 40 watt light bulb, a small amount of gruel and am anxious to begin production soon.

Yours in convenience,

Ram Venkatararam

P.S. I am interested in engaging in some recreational bathing. If anyone is prepared to purchase a XXXL Speedo on my behalf I will be pleased to write your name across the backside in permanent marker.

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