How to Not Suck at Life, Lesson 1: Dealing with Strangers and Greenpeace

If you are also a college student, never measure your self worth according to your philanthropic endeavors. You know those Greenpeace vultures that like to perch around campus? I had an interesting experience with one during my first semester at UT; evading these acquisitive eco-warriors presents a formidable challenge to those who aren’t always glued to their cellphones, and it’s especially difficult for the Good Guy Gregs and benevolent females of the world to ignore a concise account of animal extinction:

“Ma’am, polar bears are dying every day.”

Well way to ruin my day, asshole.

“I know, it’s awful.”

Oh crap, you acknowledged his presence. Why did you do that? God you’re dumb.

“Aw, that’s a commanding smile you have there. Mind if I ask you a few questions?”

Nut job. Lauren, listen to me…you know where this is going. You have common sense, you have instincts, and you have an empty wallet.”

“Uhhh, suuure?”

Damnit, a helicopter makes better decisions than you. Just stick to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses then get the hell out of there.

“Great! Are you aware that Alaskan polar bears are drowning due to loss of sea ice? Because they are. It shrinks about 8 to 10 percent a decade. If this continues, they’ll be extinct by 2050 and we can’t let that happen. Can we? Did you know that Greenpeace is committed to saving these majestic creatures? Here, look at this colorful picture here. It’s a polar bear we rescued last year, her name is Koda. Look, isn’t she beautiful? Hold the picture.”

“That’s so sad. She’s adorable.”

Oh, good God man. Just say that your mom whips up a mean polar bear bacon burger and go get some froyo.

“Unfortunately Koda’s family is dead. Without additional resources, it was very difficult for us to provide them with adequate protection. You seem like a very caring, compassionate young lady…”

Guilt trip on cue, aaand, here it comes…

“…and with a small donation of $5 a month, you can be an advocate for environmental responsibility and animal protection. All we need is a credit card, signing up is so simple!”

Stop smiling, stupid, you know you’re cornering me into this and I don’t appreciate it. Your fedora is fugly and I hate your blue Earth shirt. 

“Well, I would but I don’t have my wallet…”

“Oh, well, where do you live?”

Excuse me, what the fuck? Where do I live? Are you serious? This is rapidly spiraling out of control. I don’t have enough life experience to handle this.

“Not far.”

You. Idiot.

“Great! I’ll hold your umbrella and we can walk over to your apartment together.”

And to make a long story short, this guy grabbed my things without my consent and began following me to my apartment. Along the way he ran into some other hippie Earth buddy, which really only exacerbated the situation, because now there was another person on the planet who knew that I exercised judgment like an orange. When we arrived at my apartment, he showered me with – what I assumed to be obligatory – compliments: “Nice pad man,” “The temperature here is righteous!” “I’ve slept on couches like these, nice quality.”  And then, it makes me angry just thinking about this, he had the audacity to ask for a glass of water, a pillow and some sort of snack. Of course I obliged, why wouldn’t I? I had already crowned myself Queen of the Halfwits from Imbecilia. I remember feeling so determined to maintain a semblance of composure, though frankly I would have given three years of my life to see Typhlosion flame throw that guy.

This would have pleased me immensely.

As I dubiously began filling out the paperwork, the eco-terrorist (in a very untimely manner) informed me that I was required to donate $15 for the first month, but that I could write a letter or some crap stipulating a different amount.

“What kinda shit is this?” I asked…myself. I sort of just nodded and pretended that he had a gun and that I was doing this to save my life. I had only known him for 30 minutes, yet he somehow managed to take away my money, my last Pop Tart, and my dignity. Well played Greenpeace, well played.

The lesson: don’t trust people who wear fedoras.  The end.


7 responses to “How to Not Suck at Life, Lesson 1: Dealing with Strangers and Greenpeace

  1. This has absolutley happened to me and everyone else I know– best way to survive Greenpeace with dignity= tell them you already donate. Topped off with a nice high-five. Works every time! Cheers!

  2. Haha, this happened to me with amnesty international, thing was I had a pin i got from them when i intiially joined. Im not longer a member but in an idealist spurt I thought somehow i should join some kind of organisation. However I kept the pin on my coat, so when they tried to rape me, I just did a thumbs up and pointed to the pin… perhaps I should write a facebook entry on the power of pins.

  3. Polar bear bacon burgers, stolen pop tarts, fugly fedoras, and cornered into a monthly subscription to green peace. Gross. Thank you for writing about this, it was a hilarious read and instantly relatable, the best part was when you actually brought a green peace pseudo-hippie +1 into your home. I’m sure it had to be terrible for you, but for us, the readers, your shitty experience has produced an extremely un-shitty blog post. I thank you again for enduring that. The smiley face at the way bottom of the page is the best, I hadn’t noticed him before. Again, keep up the writing, your award-winning style of rhetoric and prose keeps me waiting for the next post. Cheers

  4. Lauren you’re hilarious! wonderful writing style! not one of my strong suits. enjoyed it immensely.

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