The telephone rings, and because his secretary is nowhere to be found (one must remember to look in the library later this afternoon and make sure none of the shelves have fallen down on the poor man), Dr. Boli answers it himself.

“Hello,” says a recorded voice. It continues in slow, measured tones, with unusually long spaces between the words: “I am calling on behalf of the Salvation Army, because we have a desperate need of gently used men…”

Dr. Boli immediately thought of his secretary, although an appraiser might say that the man is in fair condition at best. But then the voice continued:


Dr. Boli has no women to give away at the moment. His housekeeper is absolutely essential to the daily operation of the household, and Mrs. Boli—whom he believes to be in the north wing, although he has not gone looking for her there recently—would object to being termed “used” at all.

“…and children’s clothing and shoes for our stores in southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Well, this explains it. Apparently the way the scheme works is this: you donate your used goods, and then the Salvation Army sells them at bargain prices to fund its charitable work. This sounds like an excellent idea, and Dr. Boli will direct his valet to set aside a few morning coats that are no longer strictly in fashion. The next time you have need of any clothing or help around the house, you would do well to think of the Salvation Army’s slave auction and clothing sale. It is, we are assured, for a good cause.


  1. Ah, but the robocall was clearly asking for “Men, Women, and Children’s clothing and shoes”, so unless Dr. Boli has any shoes or clothing fit for children, the Salvation Army clearly has little or no use for them. But clearly what they are in most need of is donations of surplus apostrophes, which I believe can usually be found at your local greengrocer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *