Of course pissing me off makes me want to give you money!

Who the hell decided that “voluntary tolls” were a good idea for collecting for charity?

 Picture this.   The scenic town of Ipswich, MA.      In its center is the most brain-damaged intersection ever designed by the hand of Man.     Six or seven lanes of traffic meet, including Rte. 1A, the narrow, winding, dates-back-to-Colonial-days main road through the entire area.    In order to preserve the quaint character of the town, there is no light at this intersection.   Because they allow parking along the sides of 1A right up to the intersection, there are no sight lines for anyone trying to turn onto or cross 1A from any of the side roads, so most people either slowly edge out into traffic, blocking lanes, or simply close their eyes and floor it, causing panic braking all around.   Add in a couple of crosswalks (again, no light) into which pedestrians are prone to flinging themselves without warning, confident in the ability of the painted white lines to protect them from harm.     The result is that the intersection and all roads leading into it are a nightmarish clusterfuck and an invitation to road rage at the best of times.

Now, go 100 feet to the north of this intersection, on a busy Saturday morning, and have the local firemen performing a “voluntary toll” for some charity. Traffic grinds to a halt. If, for example, you’re driving behind some fat-assed pickup, you’ll have no idea why traffic isn’t moving until some guy is waving a can in your face.

Now tell me, Why would you think terminally pissing me off would make me want to give you money?

If it was terminal, why aren’t you dead?

Sounds more like the roadway is a major reason for irritation at any time of year. I don’t think that that should be a reason to be mad at the firemen. Is it the “Fill the Boot” campaign that you’re describing? (I can never remember what time of year they do that, I just know when they start showing up on the median strips at popular intersections.

Our firemen don’t have to campaign at all, in fact when I see them, they’re generally having a tough time keeping up with the motorists waving money and trying to give it to them quickly before the light turns.

Sounds like “your” firemen just chose the most populated area they could think of to collect. And since that area is already a cluster, they figured it wouldn’t matter all that much. Just a guess though.

If it was that campaign, they really did choose a craptacular place to try and collect donations. Here in Ottawa, the firefighters do a “pub crawl” every year - they don’t drink (much) - and hit all the lubricated people up for cash. Frankly, I think that’s a great strategy.

My guess is they’re collecting money for the Labor Day Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. Firefighter, 7-11s, etc. all put on a big push this time each year to raise money for it.

Nah, I’m betting it’s a push for increased funding. They pick the most dangerous area to disrupt traffic, knowing that it’ll cause accidents and injuries, they can then use the rise in accidents and demands for their services for greater funding of their department.