Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Soup Kitchens

Bernice heard the chug of an angry diesel outside of her office. She dropped the pencil that she was holding.

"Oh no..." she said. She spun in her chair and flung herself towards the window like a vial in a dangerously broken centrifuge. Between the slats of the venetian blinds she saw a bus squeal to a stop. It's owners had covered it in a particularly gaudy shade of pink paint that had been inoculated with more glitter than a raver's lungs.

Mr. Tremacle rushed into the room. He was the head cook at the soup kitchen and he hadn't even dropped his ladle in his haste, and big, thick globs of the stuff spattered against the tile as he powered to a halt. "I thought that you told them not to come back!"

"I tried, I really did. They're just so earnest about their...er, passion to help the less privileged," Bernice said, diving for her coat. Maybe if she hurried she could think of a good excuse why they could leave for the day. Reasons flitted through her mind while she slipped and slid out of the front doors of the soup kitchen.

Despite her haste to prevent a scene out in front of the soup kitchen, the owners of the bus were professionals and had manufactured in a scene within seconds. Their soundman had deployed large, bloated speakers that jiggled and jostled from their positions on the icy asphalt. A retinue of equally jiggly women poured out of the back of the bus with a squad of men who were paid to jostle the women. Their breath sent plumes of steam into the air and what clothes they wore shone with sequins like the snow on the sidewalks.

The leader, Julian, leapt from the bus as the bass rhythms shattered Bernice's fillings. He held a megaphone and held it up to his exuberant smile.

"Listen, all you sad sacks! We are the Fuckbus! Do you know what we do?"

A small crowd had gathered. One of them raised his hand and mumbled something. Julian looked disgusted.

"You filthy punter," he said through the megaphone into the man's face. "No! We fuck hunger!"

The small army from the bus cheered and waved their feather boas.

"We fuck poverty!"

More cheers.

"We fuck homelessness!"

Even more cheering. The DJ threw up the sliders and they splattered against the top of the boards. Bernice's head spun while she dove into the crowd to grab Julian's skimpy leather thong.

"Oh, hi Bernice whoops sorry for the megaphone! What's up?" he said, attempting to further deafen her. Despite being half of his size, she dragged him into the back of the Fuckbus.

"You can't keep coming here!" Bernice said.

"This is still a soup shelter, right?" Julian asked.

"Yes, but-"

"And you're working to end hunger, right?"

"Yes, but-"

"Then we have the same goals! We're both attempting to stuff that big empty hole!"

Bernice sighed. "We've been over this. You are certainly welcome to help, but we are not, ahem, effing hunger. We are feeding the underprivileged."

"And we're trying to help," Julian insisted.

"How, exactly? You come out here and wave your boas and other bits that ought not to be waved in public but you're never around ladling the soup into bowls. How do you eff a social concept like poverty?"

Julian threw his hands up in the air. "You won't let us ladle soup for the homeless. Brendda 'Double D' Kinx out there offered you a dozen trays of homemade cookies and you refused them."

"Sanitation and cleanliness," Bernice roared. "I've told you that a thousand times! If you're going to make food for the public then you have to wear hair nets!"

"Aha, I knew that you'd say that. We came prepared!"

Julian stuck his head out of the window with the megaphone.

"Hairnets, people, practice safe food making!"

The members of the Fuckbus cheered and put on hair nets.

Julian grinned at Bernice.

"There, you see? We follow rules."

"Lower hair nets are also necessary," Bernice said.

"But Brendda-"

Bernice held up her hand to stop him. "That should not be an issue, and you know it. These people have very little and what we give them must be wholesome."

"Brendda wears clothes when she bakes, she's not a moron. Besides, these folks that you're trying to help don't seem to mind a little joy, a little verve," Julian said. A homeless man was break-dancing. "And he's going to be very hungry afterwards, oh! See that move? Burns thousands of calories!"

Bernice stomped her foot and it clanged against the floor of the bus. "Julian, I am sick of this! You are making a mockery of everything that we stand for with your stupid party here. A soup kitchen is serious business, and if you cannot understand that I will seek a restraining order so that a police officer can explain it to you! This town has laws about indecent exposure."

"Sounds like the more indecent exposure would be if I told that judge about the money that you're embezzling from the soup kitchen," Julian said in a whisper barely loud enough to be heard over the thumping bass and whoops of fun outside of the bus.

Bernice's jaw dropped.

"How...?"

"After the first time that the Fuckbus rolled up here and you said 'no, please, I support hunger, poverty and homelessness' I realized that someone smelled like a rat, and I only smell like leather polish and body oil, so I pulled your records and noticed some very, very buried discrepancies in the accounting. I used to be an accountant, for Pete's sake."

Bernice adjusted her jacket, drew herself up, and stepped off of the bus and walked off down the street. Julian shook his head, put on oven mitts, and took a tray of brownies out of a warmer. He hopped down onto the asphalt with the brownies sending trails of steam into the chilly winter air.

"So who wants to fuck hunger with one of these brownies from Miss Kinx?"

The Moral: sex, drugs, parties or embezzling; everybody has one.

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