Desperate for ideas on how to raise more money for their plucky little nonprofits, Jon and Sarah attend a fundraising conference, and its keynote speaker time (not to be confused with the equally motivating, yet catchier “Hammer Time”).
600 frisée salads are clinked down gently among each conference goer. Jon nudges Sarah to stay awake, as her blood level dropped precipitously low during the last session, “Direct Mail is fun, Yo!”
He resorts to texting, knowing that she has a reactionary trigger to random texts given the likelihood that her feral children have finally bested their sitter, tied her up with electrical tape, and gone off on some Goonie-like adventure for pirate gold in their suburban backyard.
Jon texts: Sarah, if u don’t wake up, we’ll miss the backstage rush for the Wizards of Philanthropy to sign our canvas giveaway totes from Massive Bank. I mean… who doesn’t want yet another free Massive Bank tote bag?
Jon texts: Also, I need someone to stage an elaborate distraction when I pull out my flask for our coffee.
(Jon flags a hurried frisée server to inquire about the timing of coffee.)
(Sarah wakes with a start, knocks over her water, and clutches the buzzing phone.)
Sarah texts: I haven’t seen Wizards this white since I mistakenly attended that Christian rock concert back in ’89. Woof… they may be from Resurrection Band, guessing by their age… A self-professed academic and a striving “Hey-I’m-hip-and-talk-real-talk-fresh” that hasn’t punched a time clock in a nonprofit for 30 years. Sooo… 60 years of mansplaining awaits us… Why did you wake me up? WTF?!
(Sarah looks at the remains of her frisée and wishes she had a better lunch.)
Sarah texts: Why does a pep talk for our sector’s “Wizards” make me feel so…
Jon texts: Lonely? Self-Loathing? Isolated? Exhausted? Defeated? Necrotic? Narcoleptic?
(Jon looks at his empty water glass and coffee mug, while gently fingering his pocket flask. He wonders in what order he should caffeinate, hydrate and inebriate.)
Sarah texts: All that… yes… hell, we have no shortage of middle-aged white guy keynote combos that haven’t worked in the nonprofit sector for decades. And every 20 minutes they get trotted out, dusted off and elevated like some King of the TED Talk.
Jon texts: IDK… the dude in the wizard hat is about to take the stage. Says he’s a social media sorcerer. He’s even got a white beard and a Gandalf staff.
(Jon gets distracted by the self-proclaimed Media Wizard gesticulating wildly–albeit awkwardly through his billowy blue-starred robe — beside a staid PowerPoint of bulleted “Do’s” and “Dont’s” including #putitintheparkinglot, #sustainabilityiseverything, & #taggingislife.)
Sarah texts: Anyone can be anything in their parent’s basement. And the staff isn’t real Jon. I looks like an over-sized saltless pretzel.
(Easily susceptible to suggestion after eating a mealy frisée salad with brownish dressing that was more mauve than brown, Jon starts to think of pretzels, longingly, lovingly.)
Jon texts: BTW, why was the salad dressing mauve? Effing mauve. I lament my life choices that have led me to know what mauve even looks like, as well as ochre and fuchsia. I also know what gingham is, and damask, and decoupage… why?
Sarah texts: It separates you from the wing-eating, strip-club going, tailgating at a football game, Stop-Kneeling-and-STFU, misogynistic, misanthropic, basic bros of today. Wear that fucking gingham with pride, man!
Jon texts: Speaking of which, I think the Wizard was at Charlottesville… I saw several Tiki torches in the backseat of his car when he pulled up this morning. What do you think his perspective is on growing an audience for grassroots, POC-led orgs focused on social activism as an antidote for community unrest?
Sarah texts: IDK, Jon… what’s whiter than a Wizard mascot who probably sports the sticker “My Other Car is a Broom” on his Tesla. That knowledge/life experience ain’t in this wizard’s hat.
Jon texts: Time to get serious. Coffee shot each time the Wizard says Disruption, YOLO, or Paradigm. You down?
Sarah texts: What, um, yeah, sure. Do U know if Danny Trejo is coming to the Arrow or the Flash? Sorry, distracted by clickbait…
Jon texts: Umm, it’s The Flash. But Trejo can do anything. He’s sort of like Meryl Streep that way.
Sarah texts: Ah! I hope they wrote him in as the Dusk to Dawn Vampire. DC needs a bit more walking undead. Speaking of… is the Wizard really going to saw that life-size Mark Zuckerberg cutout in half?
Jon texts: Why else would he have a Sawzall? It’s certainly not to cut these grape tomatoes. I mean, FFS, why is it always grape tomatoes in these frisée salads? Would it kill someone to throw in a Sungold or a Cherry?
(Jon lines up the leftover grape tomatoes as if they are facing his own personal miniature firing squad.)
Sarah texts: Ooooh, YOLO!!! HE SAID YOLO!!! Coffee shot.
Jon texts: Yea, well, we should have saw that one coming. I mean, haven’t we all wanted to Sawzall Zuckerberg at one point or another?
Sarah texts: Didn’t Trejo chop-up Zuckerberg in “Machete?” Or was it “Machete Kills?”
Jon texts: Neither. But I’m sure if they ever make the sequel “Machete Kills Again… in Space” they’ll work that in.
– Jon & Sarah