You know how when a sex offender moves to a new neighborhood, he has to go around with a cop and tell all the neighbors that he banged some kids? Well, I’m no sex offender, but my shame is on par with theirs.
You see, every time I apply for a job, I have to inform my prospective employer that if they receive any tax exemptions as a charity, I am ineligible to work there.
This is because I was involved in what some would call a scam (U.S. GOV’T V. FILIPKOWSKI, 2004 ), but what I would term a simple misunderstanding or (at worst) a blurring of the lines between fraud and really just wanting to make your dreams come true.
All my life, it has been my deepest desire to visit the Heinz Baked Beans factory in Fremont, Ohio.
I know, it’s weird. You don’t understand it and frankly, you wouldn’t want to understand it, judging by most peoples’ past reactions to my story. So I will save myself a little bit of humiliation.
It’s not some sick thing, I just like baked beans.
So before I realized how jaded everyone is, I was operating under the assumption that everybody would like to see a baked bean factory. Maybe they weren’t filled with as much passion as me, but if you asked them, they would say, “Wow, I bet that would be really neat!”
This was probably naive of me.
I started the “Make A Wishh Foundation” in early 2002. I was sitting around my house, on paid leave from my old job because I was so affected by watching 9/11 on TV and I thought that I needed a change. I needed to go out and actively make the world a better place.
I thought if I started something where sick kids could “make a wish” and then I could grant that wish, then that would be spreading hope and love and all that good stuff out into the world, even if just on a small scale.
Obviously, I wasn’t the only person to have this idea, hence the extra ‘h’ on the end of my foundation’s name. Again, I’m naive.
Looking back, the big mistake was thinking that I should be the one to decide what these kids would really wish for and telling them that even though they wanted a pony or a ride on the space shuttle, I had something better for them: a trip to a baked beans factory!
I won’t deny my reasons weren’t entirely unselfish, but like I said, I really thought they would enjoy it too.
So they get to see how baked beans are made, take their mind off of their cancer or whatever, have a nice trip and if I come along and get to live out my own fantasy, what’s the harm?
Well, apparently cancer makes you hate baked beans because none of these kids had a good time and their parents were pretty pissed off. Not as pissed off as me when the whining of these little brats almost ruined the whole tour, but pretty pissed off, nonetheless.
I don’t know how you can look at getting a free trip to a baked beans factory and think that somehow you got “ripped off”. I didn’t tell anyone to cancel their trip to Disney World over it. They made that decision on their own.
Personally, I get the feeling these kids’ cheapass parents were thinking they could save some dough by getting themselves a free vacation instead. WHICH THEY GOT.
You can probably tell I’m still bitter about this, but I have to move forward. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that you should never help anyone. You should help yourself, first and foremost, because everyone is a bunch of assholes and even sick kids are gonna act like dicks some of the time.
If you can’t be happy and have a good time at a baked beans factory, what’s the point in living, anyway?
While I do believe that, if I had known the legal troubles saying it out loud would have caused me, I probably would have just kept it to myself.