Becky Says...

December 2005

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Bah Humbells - December 17

One thing I really don't like when I'm waiting for the bus from downtown Chapel Hill to my workplace is the damned bells.

There are two charities in town ringing competing bells this holiday season. I'm not particularly fond of either of them; one for its rather bigoted pious attitude and the other for something I consider deceptive naming. But for this month, it's their noise-making that has me ready to declare that they should be sent packing.

They are both set up at the entrance to a bank which shall remain nameless here for search engine purposes. The bank is situated at the north side of the mid-block crosswalk on Franklin Street's main block. The named group is on the west side, the religious group on the east.

They both use smallish bells, which they tend to ring as weapons at each other. Now bear in mind that with a money-collecting pot for the one and a card table filled with individually-wrapped cookies for the other, it's unlikely any pedestrian would miss the fact that there are two entities there ready to take money.

Also hard to miss is the fact that this particular crosswalk is already noisy enough without the bells. There are the beeps from the bank's atm, and the beeps from the walk/don't walk signal to be heard year-round. They are definitely overshadowed by the din from the bells.

Neither group has a pleasant-sounding bell, as bells go. I think they perhaps got cheap ones (snark intended) to show the world they weren't going to spend money on frills like bells that actually had a pleasant tone.

Both groups have apparently held ringer exercise sessions for their volunteers, who just plain don't stop ringing. These people make that battery bunny look like a quitter. These people must have arms and shoulders of steel, and have learned to apply a white-knuckled grip to the handles so that no potential donors get bonked.

Needless to say, I have not and will not contribute to either group. I'm saving my money for ear plugs.

Text copyright 2000-2005 Becky