Created on 09 September 2012
We’ve all heard it in some variation or another. If we save our pop can tabs, a little boy will get dialysis treatments; a little girl will get a heart transplant; the Mayo Clinic will get a new hospice wing; a national fast-food chain will build more lodging for families visiting hospitalized loved ones. And of course the list goes on and on, limited only by the imagination of those that start the rumors.
But bear in mind, there is generally no malice in these. They mean well. They heard – or overheard – someone say something about aluminum pop can tabs at one time or another, then their mind filled in the rest.
Part of the appeal of saving the pop can tabs is just how darned simple it is. Keep a jar on the kitchen counter, rip the tab off and toss it in. No rinsing of cans, no smashing, no finding a place in the garage to keep them – nothing. Just save them. See, the secret is, they’re a higher quality aluminum that fetches a premium price. That’s why they’re so valuable and can do so much good … for the children.
There really is only one problem. It’s all hogwash.
They aren’t one bit more valuable than the doggone can they were ripped off of. In fact, a person could do far more good for the charity of their choice by saving and recycling the whole can, then donating the money. But that would require effort. Who wants that? So the pop can myth lives on, in large part because people want it to be true. It may not really accomplish much, but it requires little to no effort, and it leaves them feeling good.
Part of the appeal of passing new gun control laws is just how darned simple it is. Write a bill, get a few cosponsors, and throw it out on the floor of the House (or Senate) for a vote. No dealing with the real issues, no attempting to address actual social ills, no pesky clogging of the courts – nothing. Just pass them. See, the secret is, they’re made of higher quality words that really intimidate criminals. That’s why they’re so valuable and can do so much good … for the children.
There really is only one problem.