My friend Andy continues his streak of amusing candor when he fesses up to the real reason behind his end-of-the-school-year altruism:
I don’t know what else to do with them and seemingly all of my classes are changing the textbook next semester, so I have decided to donate my textbooks to apparently needy people in Africa. While I suppose that they might need the books more than I do, my real reason for doing so is that I am too lazy to send them across the country to California. I would argue that more altruism stems from laziness than one would otherwise presume.
This is actually a perfectly self-interested cost/benefit analysis: dropping off the textbooks at the “Send Them to Africa” booth is far cheaper than figuring out a way to mail them 3,000 miles.
In an unrelated bit of humor, check out this Boston Globe article on a couple of retired cops taking down a rowdy passenger on a recent flight. One of the men struggled heroically to pin down the mentally ill disturbance, and yet his wife — who remained seated — was far more interested in her novel than the scene around her. She says:
“Bob’s been shot at. He’s been stabbed. He’s taken knives away. He knows how to handle those situations. I figured he would go up there and step on somebody’s neck, and that would be the end of it. I knew how that situation would end. I didn’t know how the book would end.”