Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)
TITLE: Lifespan of a Handout
By Cheryl von Drehle
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I’m stuffed into a dark space and hustled out of the store. Next thing I know I’m being dumped onto a large table and then…ouch…shoved through a folding machine. Whew, that was scary. But here I am, all neatly tri-folded and ready to go. At least I didn’t have to get “trimmed.” I’ve heard about those nasty paper cuts. And some of my fellow handouts didn’t survive the folding machine…they came out with crooked folds and ended up in the trash. But I am perfect and ready to go out into the world.
It’s nighttime, and my handler is prowling alleys looking for God knows who. It’s sure getting stuffy in this coat pocket. Oh, he’s stopping and talking with someone now. Out I come from his breast pocket and then I’m thrust into a sweaty hand. Guess my journey is starting. I hope whoever I now belong to reads me. Oops, guess not…I’m being thrust back into another pocket. Whee ooo, this one is stinky and damp. Hey watch it…you’re wrinkling me!
Oh, wait a minute, something is happening. I feel strange hands searching pockets. Hmmm, my owner is turning over and over. I don’t think this is good. Ah, fresh air; I’ve been liberated! Whoever has me this time is running down the street. Maybe now someone will read me.
“Hey, Joe, lookee here, I got me some cigarettes and a few swigs of rum. What did you get?”
“eh, I just got a few dollar bills along with a couple scraps of paper.”
“Oh, yeah? let me see that.”
“What is it?”
“Dunno…some kind of a handout. I saw a few others like it floatin’ around the alleyway.”
“hmmm, that old preacher man must have been around tonight doing his thing. So, what’s it say?”
“I don’t know…free food…pick-up basketball game, you know, the usual stuff.”
“It is kinda cold out here and I’m getting’ hungry. You wanna go?
“Are you kidding me? And have to listen to some sermon? I don’t think so.”
“Might do you some good…ha!”
“Ah, well, alright…nothin’ better to do tonight.”
Bummer. This was starting to get interesting and now I’ve been tossed in the gutter. I was so hoping to at least get recycled … but I’m just going to end up being litter. Then again, I was read, and maybe they will go to the center, and maybe…
Swoosh…down the drain; lifespan of a handout: 5 ½ hours; potential impact: eternal.
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