Neophytes In The Mix

Sunday, October 10, 2021 (Note: This month’s fullest moon [“Hunter”] rises on the 20th.)

Sometimes I leap into activities before reading fine print. That happened while entering my donkey, Pimmy, in a “cutest pet calendar” contest. Sponsored by the local newspaper, the outcome will be a slick calendar. Very cute, are all the 253 contestants, mostly dogs and cats. The candidates include a cougar and my donkey.

It’s the newspaper’s clever way of supporting the local humane society. Available for purchase for one’s favorite pet are hundreds of “yes” votes. The money goes to a good cause, the local humane society recently closed because of inadequate staffing and funding.

I’m absolutely a supporter of the humane society. I’m not a supporter of a “pet contest” that forces multiple vote purchases to promote a pet throughout four weeks.

The contest runs for a month, begins anew weekly. Each new voting round ranks pets in the order ending their previous round. For Pimmy, the upcoming round will show her near the top, at #13. To maintain her rank, I’ll have to purchase votes. Already, the pets ranking above Pimmy have very high vote counts, some have thousands.

The cost isn’t a huge deal. For $20 one adds 500 votes. That may keep keep a pet in the running and will support the humane society. How about more? Contributing $100 weekly to add 2,000 votes each round could ensure an appearance in the planned calendar.

I’ve asked friends to vote for my pet. Many have responded, and yesterday I naively cheered Pimmy’s pop in the rankings. She moved upward, from a very low #219, to a very high #13. It didn’t register that her vote count was slightly over 500, until a dear friend texted about having added 500 votes by purchasing them. Wonderful support raising questions.

Wow, there’s no need to request votes from friends. Winning by funding is simple, and it’s legal. But another three weeks of voting will invite an unending process that actually is another contest: vote purchasers competing among themselves. I’m completely for supporting the humane society, but rather to help independent of an awkward “contest”.

What haunted me all last night boiled down to, “What’s best, to play the game or not?” I massaged the possibilities all ways and finally decided to pull Pimmy from the event. I’ll hope for more wisdom in the future.

For several years I’ve planned to create a “Pimmy Calendar”. The wish gets renewed, always fades, and again is on the table. With 2022 too near, my new target must be 2023. Pimmy’s calendar will have a December image of her in that wonderful holiday costume.

Dear Friends: Newbies are neophytes to community traditions and power. Diana

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