ISSUE 21

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  Oh god no. They’re stationary. They have clipboards and dreadlocks and it’s… oh no. Not Green Peace. Anything but Green Peace. They… they’ve locked on to you. They know you care about the environment. Run, run, run, get out of there man! You don’t have time. Don’t let…
  HEY, HEY YOU. Do you hate whales? Did you know that orangutans are forced to put together iPhones for twenty hours straight? If you could save a baby penguin from being chopped up and used as chum for McDonald’s hamburgers, wouldn’t you? All it takes is ten minutes of your time. Why won’t you talk to me, you insensitive awful person? THE SUMATRAN ELEPHANT DEMANDS YOUR ATTENTION.
  Oh god, don’t look in their eyes, don’t, don’t… oh damn, you looked in their eyes. The soul is in the eyes, man. This is way too much soul to handle. It’s too much goodness, too much raw, unfiltered optimism and youth and environmentally-conscious brightness. You’re caving.
  Okay, just keep walking. Ignore them. Under no circumstances should you engage them in conversation. But they look so interesting, like they spend time debating which incense to buy, like they harvest organic tomatoes and sort through recyclable plastic in their dreams. And they dress like a homeless person—but not in a knifey sort of way… more like a Jesus, torn-jeans, maple-syrup-harvester from Vermont way.
  Well, now you’re talking to them. One minute, you’re going to grab a coffee and read the newspaper, but now you’re responsible for dead owls and rhinos without horns and depressed monkeys. Shit. Okay, they’re talking about a beetle… a Sacramento beetle that’s on its last legs? His name’s Fred or Mark or something, and he’s not doing so well. Apparently, it’s hard to get by on eight bucks an hour when your wife is pregnant with five hundred and sixty kids and you live in a pile of dirt.
  What if you ran away? Just book it. They don’t support guns, so the worst they can do is throw an organic orange at you, which isn’t all that bad considering their protein-starved arm muscles. Or they could support legislation to make you change all of your lightbulbs… which might be worse?     
   
  At least this is better than those Jehovah Witnesses. They wanted everything—and if you didn’t give it to them, they sent you to hell. Of course, it’s nice they gave you a super-culty pamphlet, which you thought was about the maintenance of watchtowers until you started reading about Jehovah and the Second Coming and damnation and was like, What happened to the watchtower thing?  
  Then that delightful, brainwashed woman went on and on about those strange significant numbers and Kingdom Halls and supernatural forces and words like “eschatology.” As if the world wasn’t hard enough to understand without leveling up your Shadow Elf or collecting diadems or being super angry at gay people.
  Whew. Where are we? Oh, the Green Peace people have gotten to the money part. They’re not about material possessions and yet they seem to want all of yours. Just a small contribution of $349 per month. What about the JW diadems? Are they transferable to Green Peace? Say if you gave your Shadow Elf an eschatological gauntlet in the Kingdom Hall and told the Elf to go save an endangered penguin, would that kind of be the same thing as a monthly donation?  
  Oh, never mind, they went to chain themselves to a tree... again. Said something about prairie dogs being in imminent danger. Well, Planned Parenthood might know the diadem-to-penguin transfer rate, but they’re busy dealing with horny people and their unwanted fetuses. Save the Children and Doctors without Borders would make you feel even worse than Green Peace, take your money, and sign you up to go to Somalia.
  Well that homeless guy looks okay and in need of money, if slightly drunk. Though if you had to compete with dead baby animals and Fred the low-income beetle, you’d drink a lot too.  

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