THE DEATH OF INNOCENCE
or, confessions of an
April 3. By the time someone
finds this I will be far away, but
I want to leave an account of the
events surrounding April 1(April
Fool's Day)of this year.
On March 10, the Houston Area
Chapter of the National Organization
for Women voted to raise funds by
holding an "underground" bake sale.
I was one of those voting for it.
I don't know why I did it; I'd never baked before. But I think it was
the hint of illicit pleasure, the
thinly veiled promise of untold delights just beneath the surface of
the words,"underground bake sale,"
that lured me.
On March 24, H.C., Acting-President of Houston NOW, reserved a
booth in Sharpstown Mall under the
name of Houston Ecology Club(The
name was chosen for us by the man
who assigned us the booth)after B.B.,
another NOW member, was refused its
use under NOW's name.
On the night of March 31, I
baked brownies(three dozen).
On April 1, at 12:45p.m., I arrived at Sharpstown Mall with the
brownies. I was accompanied by H.C.
and her cake. We entered the booth,
B.B. was already in it, and began
selling the baked goods.
About one hour later, the man
who assigned us the booth appeared
and told us a Post reporter was coming to interview us. Paranoia set
Shortly thereafter, the reporter and a photographer arrived. They
told us they were doing a feature
on fund-raising groups. The photographer blew it by calling H.C. by
her first name(No names had been
used,so far.). Blind panic, masterfully controlled, set in.
Events became blurred. The
next thing I became aware of was a
small room with a light shining in
my eyes. I was determined not to
talk unless they threatened torture,
then I would tell them everything.
I couldn't believe I was being
hassled about a bake sale. I kept
everyone got genuine home-baked
goods in return for their money.
The baked goods didn't even have
preservatives in them. They told
me I was rationalizing my feelings
of guilt. I protested my innocence
again; they told me I had a warped
sense of values. Then the enormity
of my transgression hit me. Everyone expects corporate corruption,
stock frauds, and political chicanery, but the bake sale. Is nothing
sacred left in the world?
Soon, they got around to the
ultimate question, Was there hashish in the brownies? On the verge
of mental collapse, I croaked,
"With pecans at $51.43 a package,
who can afford extra ingredients."
Finally, they let me go. Lack
of evidence. I don't know what
happened to my friends. I only
know that I'll never bake again.
I'm not strong enough to take the
abuse. I'll spend the rest of my
life doing good deeds and trying
to atone for my sin. Maybe I'll
open a rest home for retired crusading reporters.
On March 8, the Houston Area
Chapter of NOW held an Open House
in the Mills Room of the Midcity
YWCA to celebrate International Women's Day.
Over 75 people heard six women
from foreign countries speak about
the legal, economic, and cultural
conditions of women in their countries.
International Women's Day commemorated the 1857 female garment
and textile workers' march in New
York City to protest their deplorable working conditions and to demand equality for all working women.
The women who spoke, Praerna
Majmudar—India, Carmen Real—Panama,
Toshiko Yamasaki—Japan, Hilde
Graeter—Germany, Lakshmi de Zoysa—
Ceylon, and Stella Cheesman—Guatemala, showed that the women's rights
movement is a truly international