Home > Anxiety, Bitching, Community Service, Disturbing, High School, My Mom, Ohio, Traumatic Childhood > The Time I Did Community Service – Reading to the Blind

The Time I Did Community Service – Reading to the Blind

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s community service experience week here on Angry Penguins.

At my high school, a certain number of community service hours were required each year in order to graduate. I joined Key Club in order to complete my hours more easily, but I always came up short and had to make up hours over the summer.

My mom attempted to help me in this endeavor by finding service opportunities for me, then forcing me to go. Pretty much every single job I did for community service ended up being horrible. I know writing about how community service sucks makes me a terrible person, but hey – I kind of AM a terrible person.

So without further ado, here’s the first story:

I was 15 or so and went to the Cincinnati Association for the Blind downtown to see if they had any work I could do. I folded fliers for a while and did some data entry, then got a request from a blind elderly woman in a nursing home who wanted someone to read her books.

I love to read, so I jumped at the opportunity. This would be fun! I liked reading aloud and trying to do all the dialogue voices, so I figured this would be entertaining for both me and the lady. But when I got to the nursing home, the woman requested only Danielle Steel novels.

In case you don’t know, Danielle Steel writes cheesy bodice-ripper type of romance novels, and they all feature copious amounts of detailed, gratuitous sex.

However, I didn’t know this at the time, and so I began to read. The woman had no arms, but was a chain smoker, so we sat outside and I changed out her cigarettes every few minutes. I soon reeked of smoke and was coughing as I tried to choke out the words on the page. Whenever she finished a cigarette, she’d bark at me to get another, and she’d spit the filter into the grass before telling me to go grab it for her. Her sightless blue eyes stared off into the distance, and she ground her gums in annoyance as I prepped another cigarette and jammed it between her toothless lips. She drooled as she smoked, the saliva vaguely tobacco-colored.

Within five pages, I realized I was starting to delve into a sex scene. Descriptions of “bulging manhood” and “hot wet thighs” proceeded into some really explicit stuff, and I panicked. There was no way I was going to read this out loud in public amongst the nurses on their rounds. I casually attempted to flip ahead a few pages, but the old woman’s sharp ears picked up on what I was doing.

“Don’t you dare skip past the juicy parts!” she cried, her cloudy eyes shining with lust. Her cigarette dangled from her lower lip, half unbroken ash and half moist paper. I reluctantly flipped back a few pages and painfully read about “engorged members” and “hands slick with fluid.” Smoke billowed out the woman’s nostrils, and she smiled with glee. “Yeah, that’s the stuff,” she mumbled, shifting rhythmically in her wheelchair. A nurse giggled and gave me a smug wink as she walked by. I was overcome with embarrassment, but continued to read until my hour was mercifully up.

I never went back to read to her again.

  1. December 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Holy. Sweet. Fuck.

    That is the most fucked up shit I’ve ever heard.

    You’re hilarious.

    I used to call that place the School for the Criminally Blind. So I guess I’m a bad person, too.


  2. calger459
    December 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I knew about the carrot story but I didn’t about this one! Holy crap. Community service was such crap in high school; I know why volunteering is good and important and all that, but requiring it to graduate? I had a couple friends who convincingly argued that the entire enterprise was illegal because it was forcing kids to work without pay. Requiring volunteer hours is not actually illegal, obviously, but man…maybe it should be šŸ˜› I’m rather grateful I had that Star Trek exhibit to chew up a lot of my required hours. It was annoying (hey I love Trek, but standing around for hours trying to enlighten stupid people about TV science isn’t fun at all) but it was clean and pleasant at least.

  1. December 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

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