I am the world’s worst decliner.

Me. Moi. Tres stupide.

Since coming to the US, Lokes and I have received, oh, about two thousand calls from strangers asking for money. From puppy patrols to cures for cancer, from park rangers to the neighbourhood Save the Whales drive, I have fielded more than a few of these calls, and perhaps forked out close to $200 to save possibly every living thing on the planet – and perhaps even bring to life a few dead ones. And I have all sorts of decals and magnetic stickers to prove it.

I shouldn’t be saying this out loud – and blogging about it – but Lokes and I are the absolute worst at saying no. Me worse than Lokes, and it’s even more dire now since I’m giving away his money.

“Oh babe, just in case, I just donated $50 to some very important crack-smelling dogs.”

“What? Crack-smelling dogs? What crack? Whose crack?”

“Crack, as in drugs.”

“B-but $50?!”

“Don’t you want our neighbourhood to be safe from like, druglords and stuff?”

“Still, $50?! What does the $50 buy?”

“I dunno, maybe bullet-proof vests. For the dogs?”

Today, at about 10.30am, some lady called from like a police station or something (I dunno, I’m not from here, it all sounds the same to me!) to say she sent me a decal and if I’d like to give her $35 for it.

For the first time ever, I said no.

I swear, the universe shifted a little.

“Could we interest you then in a more-than-generous gift of $25, ma’m?”

“Um (polite smile to the phone receiver), no thanks.”

“How about $15, ma’m? This is for a good cause, ma’m?”

My eyes water.

“Er, no, really. No thanks.”

“How about $10 then? We could really use your help, ma’m.”

Blood is dripping from my nose.

“No, no…no?”

The conversation lasted a torturous minute or so and by the end of it, I was whimpering a little, wanting very much to bury myself somewhere deep and dark, far away from orphans and puppies and dedicated firemen who are now in MORE mortal danger of burning to death all because I could not spare a miserable $25 to help buy like titanium flame-retardant boots.

Truly, after I thumbed the “hang up” button, I felt like shaving my head bald and almost gave up meat.

Okay, almost.