I live in a town that is pretty much surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
My town is essentially a peninsula and there are only two roads in and out of town – one to the
north and one to the west. For the past few days there have been electronic signs posted announcing
that two roads in the city north of me would be closed because of “an event on the coming Sunday.”
On Sunday morning, I had to leave town to meet with friends and family
north of my town. In recognition of the two announced road closures in the city north of my town,
I meant to exit my town by the northern road out of town and then turn west before encountering
the road closures. As I was heading out of town, I heard a traffic report on my car radio
announcing a closure of a west-bound street at the end of the east/west road out of my town.
At the northern end of town, I came to a road block manned by the
state police, forcing me to turn west before the east/west road I wanted to take. That presented
no problem, since I could re-enter the west-bound road I wanted to take at the end of the detour.
Vain hope! At the end of the detour was another road block manned by the state police, forcing
me to turn south. I was now getting annoyed.
As I proceeded south, I came upon yet another road block manned by
the state police at what was the western exit from my town. Normally, I would have turned west
at the road block, but the earlier traffic report had indicated that the road would be closed.
As I passed that road, I turned my head and saw that the road was not closed – the traffic
report had been in error. After some unprintable language and a 15 mile detour, I was able
to resume my trip to meet with friends and family.
In addition to my elevated blood pressure and the utterance of
several expletives, I made the following vow. “I will never contribute to any
charity that inconveniences me and other people as this one did.”
The road race that caused all this trouble and aggravation was
sponsored by Michelob Ultra beer and the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) Team Momentum.
Consequently, I pledge to never drink Michelob beer and to never contribute to the
Muscular Dystrophy Association.
If an organization wishes to conduct a charity race or a walk for
charity, they should have the courtesy and good sense to hold the event at a location that
doesn’t create traffic gridlock and inconveniences thousands of people. There are numerous
walking trails, biking paths, parks and reservations in and around greater Boston to do so.
The walking/biking paths along both sides of the Charles River are
one example. The Minuteman bike path from Cambridge to Bedford is another. There is the
Breakheart Reservation in Saugus and dozens of other very suitable locations. In addition,
there is no need for the charity to incur the expense of numerous police details to man road
blocks and detours. The money spent on these police details would be much better used if it
went to the charity and the recipients of the charity’s services.
So, I repeat: any charity considering holding a road race or walk
for charity that unnecessarily inconveniences me and my fellow citizens and which wastes
moneys being contributed to it will not get my money. I say to them, ”Don’t Ask Me