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Why I Don’t Mix Charity and Cake

"It's for the victims of eyebrow plucking in Essex"

“It’s for the victims of eyebrow plucking in Essex”

In every office there is that one person who feels the need to foist a charity bake sale upon the workforce. That person is never and shall never be me, for the simple reason I take great issue with the charity bake sale. For those of you who have gone straight from the womb to the underside of a well furnished rock, a charity bake sale is where a group of people bring various home-baked goods to their place of work and sell these items to colleagues, with the monies gathered being directed to some charity or heart-blisteringly worthy cause.

The altruistic soul who suggest the charity bake-off/buffet/coffee morning (they have many guises but all with the same trite format) just can’t resist the call of a worthy cause and what is more, they can’t resist the urge to make sure that everyone can see them answering this “selfless” call. Aren’t they kind? Aren’t they generous? Well, yes, but they are also a self-congratulatory pain in the derriere and a wholly unnecessary nuisance.

The day of the charity bake sale arrives, announced by an email landing ominously in your inbox, steeped in twee enthusiasm and lashings of sugar-dusted guilt. Whether you like it or not, the bake sale is happening and if you choose not to partake, the whole workplace, nay, the whole world will know that you are a bitter, spiteful hater of humanity, that you drop-kick kittens and shove badger poo through old ladies’ letter boxes (not a euphemism). But really, why should you join in?

Charity is a very personal thing. I personally don’t wish my money to be used for some causes, whereas I am more than delighted to cough up a few coins for another. How and when I choose to donate (or not) is, like the contents of the top drawer in my night stand, entirely my own business. Just because someone has too much time and flour on their hands doesn’t mean that I should have to direct my hard-earned wage toward their pity party. As for raising awareness, I do have access to the news and that’s calorie-free, thanks.

Aside from the guilt and moral bullying, I strongly object to the transaction on offer. You want me to buy cake. You want me to buy cake that you made at home in an environment uncertified by the board of health and hygiene? You want me to put something in my mouth that your child helped make? Your child who has one finger rammed permanently up their crusty nostril and the others in the nearest dog poo? What an appetising prospect. And you want me to pay how much? The best part of a fiver for a burnt slice of spittle-covered snot cake, instead of buying lunch? Bargain.

Now, I understand these saintly bakers have to charge a considerable sum for their faecal fairy cakes, because they had to spend a month’s salary on the organic fair trade vegan fun-intolerant friendly ingredients from Waitrose, and fun-intolerant friendly butter substitute doesn’t come cheap. But it’s for the little brown orphans/pandas/pot plants.

Here’s an idea – why don’t you take the money you were going to spend on hypo-allergenic wholegrain flour and dolphin friendly icing sugar and donate that to your chosen charitable cause, then I shall take the money I would have given you for a slice of drab cat hair flapjack and I’ll donate that to my chosen charity – if I want – and then, this is my favourite part of the deal, I’ll pop to the local baker’s and buy a really nice piece of cake that has been made without urban martyrdom and toddler mucus. Charity would benefit from the funds, I would benefit from a really enjoyable cake and everyone would benefit from not having to put up with the misplaced moral enthusiasm and holier-than-thou nagging.

Now, instead of cake, imagine that very same thing but with music and that’s how I feel about Band Aid 30.

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