A recent craze in fundraising consists of leaving an unwanted item in a front yard and requesting cash for its removal.  Over the last few months uglY cOUsin headquarters has been the lucky recipient of a bright red school desk and an orange toilet. The extortion note was similar for each:  $10 to take it away, $20 to send it to a person of your choice, and $30 for assurance it won’t come back.  The money goes to charity.

The charitable vandals are taking a chance, of course, that the person doesn’t want to keep the item as lawn decoration.  Front yard toilets and half-buried tires were quite the statement years ago.  We used the toilet to hold beer and ice for a day or two before sending it to someone else to enjoy.  I guess that’s what the pay it forward expression means.

Personally, I don’t think these organizations are taking it far enough.  There are so many more untapped avenues to explore in the realm of petty crime for a cause.  How about these?

  1.  Spray paint words like “ugly” and “trash” on natural wonders such as rock formations and wild animals to draw attention to litter. No money in this one, but it’s fun.
  2. Glue doors shut to raise money for homelessness.  For $50, you’ll remove the glue; for $20, you’ll give the owner access through a broken window.  For no donation, you will give access to the homeless through the broken window.
  3. Soap windows for the blind.  $10 gets you a bucket and squeegee to borrow; $20 brings the help of a blind person along with the bucket and squeegee; retina donation gets you a full house wash.
  4. Firefighter charity?  Forget the sexist calendars.  Give people three days to pay you not to flood their basements with your big hoses.
  5. Put screaming children in people’s yards to raise money for childhood disease (like chronic irritation syndrome).  Every hour the homeowner fails to donate, another child is added to the mix.  After a day, you post pictures on social media of “those people who leave their kids outside all night.”
  6. Flaming sack of dog poop on the porch to raise money for animal shelters.
  7. Nuke your least favorite city to raise money for global peace.

I bet the last one could raise a lot of money.  Which town do you pick?  The bidding begins today.