Loyal Blog Readers: Please Help Me Get Less Fat.

Happy New Year!!  Like the start of every other new year dating back to 2001, 2014 began with me making irrational commitments that I am unlikely to keep.  This year, I resolved to blog every week, to eat healthy, to be a more positive person, to get back into shape and to once and for all stop asking for things from other people.

What’s that you say?  “But, Rob.  You’ve never asked for anything from us before, and I love your blog so much that I would be willing to do anything to get you to write more or get back into shape.  And I do mean anything.”

Wow, you’re kind of a dirtbag, random internet reader, aren’t you?  It appears that we are on the same page, and because I’ve never asked you for anything before (other than your unfailing loyalty, an occasional facebook share or retweet, parenting advice, and money) now seems like a perfect time to hit you up for even more money!

http://www.crowdrise.com/freshairfundnychalf2014/fundraiser/robpollak (Pretty much click any link on my blog for more info.)

Before I get to the nitty-gritty details of just what I need from you, here’s a quick update on the end of 2013 (none of which should be to surprising if you a) have the internet, b) have a phone, c) know me personally, d) are the NSA, or d) stalk me and my family in some other way :  Anne and I welcomed our son Owen into the world on August 14th:

Inline image 2

Much like Owen, who has been growing steadily since August, my waist line (not pictured above) has been climbing its way up the growth chart.   That’s why I need your help!

Weight v Time

In an effort to reclaim what I once had – a perfect greek statuesque physique – I have committed to the NYC Half Marathon in the name of charity.  (Click here to donate!!)

Now, you may recall that I have made bold commitments like this in the past.  Three times I registered for the NYC marathon, and three times I failed to run further than 3 miles while training.  In each of those failed attempts, something was missing:  Outside forces to make me feel shame and guilt if I fail in my challenge.

If you hadn’t let me down so badly in those past efforts, here’s what I might have looked like crossing the finish line of the famed NYC Marathon:

Inline image 4Instead, I made it through about 1/30th of my training schedule, and most of those efforts looked very very sad.  Like this:

Runwalk

So in the name of charity, I am inviting you to be the physical embodiment of my shame.  Your heckling and jeering during training should push me to the finish line.  Because I know it will be nothing compared to the heckling you will spew upon me should I fail.

Picture it:  Every morning when I wake up at 6 am to brave the elements and log my miles, I will be thinking of you.  I will be counting my blessings that you were generous enough to give a little bit (a lot) of your hard-earned cash to me.

I mean, what could I possibly doing at 6 am other than going out for a run on a 9 degree day?  Not sleeping, of course.  It’s impossible to sleep with an infant at 6 am.

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So thanks so much!  (you dick…)

As always, each donation will earn you a valuable gift that I may or may not follow through on.  (Probably not if we’re being honest with each other).  In the spirit of the Olympics, you can achieve three levels:

Bronze Donor

– All donors who contribute any amount above $0 will receive a Rob Complains autographed drawing.  It will look something like this (autographed not pictured to maintain claims of authenticity):

Rob FAF

(That’s a door not a penis on the building, you sicko)

Silver Donor ($50 or more)

You will receive the entire bronze package PLUS:

– A phone call (or email if you’re scared to give me your digits) from me directly thanking you for your efforts.  I will not be offended if you send me straight to voicemail, but I won’t try to call back.  So, if you don’t answer, that’s really a win-win for everyone.

Platinum Donor (Contribute $100 or more)

You will receive the entire silver and bronze package PLUS:

– You may select the topic for one blog post that will appear on robcomplains.com within 4 weeks of your donation.

Holy S**t Donor Level (Contribute $500 or more)

– Wow.  Just tell me what you want from me.  It’s yours.

Welp, that’s all I’ve got to say.  I guess I should mention that I’m running on behalf of the Fresh Air Fund, an organization that does good things for people.

And in case you missed the 17,000 links posted about, here’s one more link to where you can donate:

http://www.crowdrise.com/freshairfundnychalf2014/fundraiser/robpollak

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The 50-50 Raffle is a Scam

I love charity as much as the next guy.  I also love gambling as much as the next guy.  Especially when the next guy is Jimmy the Greek or Pete Rose.  So I could hardly contain my excitement when I was invited to an annual charity golf event with loads of competition and raffles for valuable prizes.  

After paying my exorbitant entry fee, which went towards charity, I also shelled out a decent amount of additional cash for raffle tickets, which also went towards charity.*  The most exciting raffle, of course, is the 50-50, which promises riches to one lucky winner.  If you’re not familiar with the 50-50 raffle, the two numbers (50 and 50) represent the amount of the pot (50%) that will be allocated to the house (the charity) and to the raffle winner (never me).   Also, if you’re not familiar with the 50-50, you should probably attend an event at some point in your life.  Basically any event.

*”Decent amount” actually means the same thing as “exorbitant,” but I have never been fully forthcoming to my family about the excessive amount I spend on raffle tickets and charity golf events each year.

I realize that what I am about to say will have me shunned from society and labeled a grinch.  But as a blogger, my sole duty is to complain about everything and propose no solutions.  By now, you’re surely asking yourself, “what can anyone have against the 50-50 raffle?  It’s a perfect system in which a respectable charity reaps half the pot and a lucky winner walks away with the other half.  Who can hate that?”  Oh, hi.  Have we met?

The only issue I have is that the raffle is a complete scam.  When the lucky ticket is drawn and the winner runs up to the podium to collect his wad of cash, a small subset in the room starts to murmur.  If the winner starts to walk back to his seat, you may even hear some boos.  On more than one occasion, the charitable crowd will slowly start to chant:  “Give it back.  Give it back.  GIVE IT BACK!”  Elevating in volume until the lucky winner has been gently prodded, i.e., forced, to donate back his winnings.  

That’s right.  The charity, which has already taken almost all of my discretionary income in the form of entry fees and raffle tickets, and has claimed half of the pot just for hosting the raffle, now demands the other half of the pot for itself as well.  The 50-50 raffle has become a 100-0 raffle where the house gets everything and one lucky winner gets nothing.  Actually, the winner gets worse than nothing.  The winner gets to hold a satchel of money in his hands for 45 seconds while being taunted by a crowd of people.  What a prize!  

Charities should be fully forthcoming with this information before the event begins.  “Hello, sir.  We are hosting a raffle.  You can buy 1 ticket for $5, 10 tickets for $10, or 1000 tickets for $50.  The prize is that we get to keep everything.  How many should I put you down for?”

So, in order to raise money for myself, I will be hosting my own raffle.  Don’t worry.  I’ll be fully upfront with the details.  It’s much better than a 50-50 because it’s a 10-90.  I’ll keep 10% and the winner gets 90% of the pot.  90%!  Unheard of, right? In fact, screw it.  I’m going to double your prize pool from my own savings.  It’s now the first annual 10-180 raffle! 

Please note, all societal pressures still apply.