Insane Bell Ringers

The Salvation Army has a representative ringing a bell outside Kroger and causing guilty people to contribute. I buy a TV dinner for lunch at work. One Christmas I gave them the change from my purchase. One woman insisted on saying “Merry Christmas” in a very firm voice. It amused me to reply, “And a joyous Hanukah!” and she would growl “Merry Christmas” still more firmly; she had to have the last word with “Merry Christmas, dammit”. A newspaper article the next year described her as being in a drug recovery program of some sort.
At the beginning of the week a new freaky guy was collecting money. He was beating out the rhythm of songs unknown to me with his bell on the money basket, and reciting some blues sounding lyrics while he stared off into space. Wednesday he had a guitar, but he was still playing percussion and reciting lyrics. He learned chords by Thursday, but they weren’t music, he was just making noise. Today he could play two chords, and was reciting the lyrics to* Mister Bo Jangles*. I don’t know what Mister Bo Jangles has to do with Christmas, but I unlikely to ask the crazy person what he is doing. Perhaps he will have an accordion Monday, and recite to polka music.

Doesn’t sound all that insane. More impressively, in the bell foundry at Loughborough, in July 1963, they rang a full extent on eight bells in Plain Bob Major, taking less than 20 hours.

I will continue to give them zero dollars despite their insanity. Anti-gay ain’t ok.

Huh? Did I miss something?

That organization will never get my money.

Yeah, that’s insane. Never rang longer than a peal, myself. Most insane thing I did was going out drinking with the boys from Whitechapel foundry.

How can anyone endure ringing a damn bell non-stop for hours-on-end? Are they medicated? In a trance? At the very least I would have to wear earplugs.

And no, I don’t contribute.

I occasionally contribute to the Salvation Army, but not at Christmas with the kettles. Those bells drove me nuts as a store clerk, and the continued guilt trip bothers me.

I read a story once about a collector who didn’t ring a bell but started waving a little sign that said “Ding dong!” He got in trouble with the SA because darn it, you’re supposed to ring the bell!. I would have given to that collector!

Let’s just say that the SA is less enlightened than Southern Arkansas. :wink:

Certainly not a dig on you, Beck. :smiley:

there was a girl that past couple years played her classical violin concert style …. and yeah i give even tho I don’t agree with a lot of what they say
because I lived in one of their shelters for a month when mom and aunt lost their hotel job and we were kicked out of our room …

So it was once, for twenty [del]minutes[/del]hours, in the 1960s?

Bell ringers are both volunteer and paid positions. Paid positions are frequently chosen from among the people they are helping. It’s not unusual for ringers to be homeless and unfortunately, among the homeless there is a very disproportionate amount of substance abuse and mental illness.

I thought about that some time after posting. I’ll stop throwing rocks at the guy.

I recently interviewed for, but unfortunately didn’t get a job with the Salvation Army and the first thing mentioned at the interview was that they’re a Christian organization. I know it can’t be a criteria for employment, but it’s highly likely that those who work there are Christians and/or highly interested in charity oriented works. So it’s understandable they’d be enthusiastic with the bells.

I thought about whether I’d be asked to man a pot if I was hired and decided I’d be happily ringing the bell if I was. It’s no different than receiving a job because you know a politician. Come sign waving time you’re expected to be be out there enthusiastically waving and smiling at every car that passes!

Edit:As for the sane homeless or down on their luck ringers, they may just be happy to be paid (if they are) or showing their gratitude for what the Salvation Army has or will do for them. In a way, it’s filling the pot that ultimately may feed them.

17 hours, 58 minutes, and as far as I know (by checking the same lists you probably did) it was only the once; check here and here. The insanity continues, though, since four guys did it in 1977 on handbells. So who knows…

For some people it’s something to do that makes them feel good doing it. Or in the case of the guy with the guitar, it’s what makes him happy and it’s the only time he can do it without be stopped for being a public nuisance or annoying those around him. Sometimes i see people smiling and wondering that they know/see that I don’t. Of course sometimes it’s chemically enhanced, but not always. :smiley:

Here’s how bell ringing should be done. (Improv Everywhere stunt.)

I just want to say that the title of the thread suggests a handbell choir made up of Juggalos. :smiley:

I always walk right past them… resisting the urge to comment on “homophobic nazi war criminals.”

Not that I’m the type of guy to donate to that kind of thing, but it always bothered me that they appeared to be guilting people into donating. If you’re the type of person that tosses your loose change into whatever donation bucket is closest, how can you ignore a bell ringing disabled or elderly person, sitting so close to the door they often have a blanket ('round here, that often means they’re sitting in 20-35 degree weather), looking at you with puppy dog eyes. I mean, I can, but I know a lot of people can’t.
Again, I’m not the donating to a bucket type person, but I felt a lot less bad when I read about their anti-LGBT issues. Screw’em.

I’ll occasionally run old clothes up to Goodwill, but Salvation Army will never see a cent from me.

But then, it doesn’t bother me or cause me any guilt to walk right past people standing between me and where I want to go, soliciting donations.