Over the weekend I read a Tweet about a guy who bid $4,500 in a charity eBay auction for a lunch “date” with Alison Brie of “Community” and “Mad Men” fame, and I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s just so crazy to me that someone would do that. I’m not saying Alison Brie isn’t lovely company or that charity isn’t all charitable-like or that lunch isn’t delicious. I am saying, this is creepy, right? Like, unavoidably creepy. We pass it off as charity, but in effect, some dude paid over four grand to have the least important meal of the day with a pretty celebrity who would never eat so much as a mid-meal snack with him otherwise. No matter how sweet, polite or conversational he turns out to be, that’s the reality: He paid her to eat with him. And if we learned anything from Patrick Dempsey’s non-award winning turn in “Can’t Buy Me Love” it’s that you can’t buy yourself love, and if you try high school kids will think you’re weird and reject you. That point doesn’t seem as salient as it did in my head. Whatever, I’m getting off-course.
I don’t remember what charity is benefited by this act of perverse generosity. My guess is, neither does the highest bidder. I mean, I’m sure he donates a lot (of sperm) to his church (a candle-lit shrine to Alison Brie in his basement), but we all know he wasn’t in this for the giver’s glow, or even the tax credit. He didn’t even really donate money to charity. He’s giving Alison Brie $4500 to have lunch with him, and she’s donating it to charity. He shouldn’t even be able to call it charity. She is committing two acts of charity: 4500 bucks AND an hour and a half of her time (an hour for lunch and half hour to shower off his company).
It’s a very nice thing she’s doing, enduring this man’s Creep Factor without personal benefit. And all in all, there’s nothing objectionable about it. But still, there are ways this story could be better. Obviously, it would be better if the guy just gave money to charity without expecting something in return. Lots of people give money to charity, and usually it isn’t for the thank-you tee shirt. This guy acted charitably because, for $4500, his thank-you tee shirt came with Alison Brie in it. For exactly one hour. In a well-lit, public location. His treat.
The less obvious way this story could be improved is by removing charity from it altogether. What if Alison Brie was hooking out her lunches; auctioning off an hour of her midday to perverts just because the money was right? That would be so deplorable I’d have to love her for it. I might even get a few friends together and go in on a round of appetizers with the old gal.
Probably to keep people like me from contacting him, eBay did not publicize the name of the winning bidder. So if I want to know his identity I’ll have to stalk Alison Brie day and night, taking note of the men she lunches with and cataloging them according to creepiness and frequency of interaction. I’ll have to study her every move; every contact; every relationship; think about her constantly. Only then will I be able to reveal this pervert for the creepozoid that he is. Wait a minute . . . but that would make me . . . a hero! Because that guy’s a creepozoid!
My name is Ben and this blog can’t come within 500 feet of Alison Brie.