It’s the time of the year when secondary school students are getting ready for their school leaving exams. The preparations involve them putting on madcap costumes, walking in gangs around the town and pestering passers-by for contributions. It’s something like a teenage version of Trick and Treat, except trick is not an option. The contributions are collected in cash solely and are intended towards the kids’ school leaving parties. While it is an established tradition, I think it curious that anyone should expect me to give them spending money just like that.
Sadly, I’m the annoying type of person who challenges things, asks nagging questions and blatantly refuses to do something for which there is no practical reason besides its being tradition. If there is one word for my condition, besides smartass and jerk, let me know so that I could stick it on my chest as a warning to anyone who would approach me. The student (dressed as a Michelin Man crossed with a sumo wrestler) who incautiously asked me to contribute would certainly have welcomed an early warning. I have to owe him that he coped well though.
Student: Ma’m, contribute, please!
Smartass: Mm, don’t you think it’s a strange tradition that people should give money for booze to underage kids?
Student: It’s not for booze!
Smartass: *chuckling* Yeah, right. I took a school leaving exam too.
Student: You did?
Smartass: (Do I look like I didn’t go to school? WTF?) Sure.
Student: You don’t have to contribute.
Smartass: *snort* Thanks, I know I don’t have to contribute.
Student: (goes away)
Now I see how genuinely disgusting and universally detestable person I am. Not only did I contribute nothing but I was also nasty to the poor kid. It somehow didn’t sound so mean as a real exchange, but stripped of tone and gestures, it is pure evil. Now I depressed myself. I still however maintain that I’m not contributing anyone for booze unless they contribute me for rent.