Public school teacher and reported “total wet blanket” Ben Hutchinson made a stop on his way to work last Wednesday to anonymously donate two brand new books to the Toys for Tots collection box outside of his local post office, an act witnesses could only assume would soon ruin an unlucky child’s entire Christmas morning.
The books in question: glistening hardcover copies of Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime were reportedly purchased the night before in an effort to “spread the joy of reading,” or as one local adolescent would soon come to interpret it, “force the joy of reading on a disadvantaged youth in my community who would have been much happier with an over-the- door basketball hoop or a new pair of headphones.”
Hutchinson said that he makes an effort to donate to Toys for Tots every year because his job as a teacher brings him in contact with local children, whose happiness he is set on destroying, every day.
“I like knowing that my gift of around 500 pages of additional reading along with the school work he or she already has will directly impact one of the kids in my very own district,” said Hutchinson. “Sometimes I even like to tuck a little note in the book with an address for a “free theme park,” but it’s actually just the address for the public library and the theme is endless adventure.”
Andi Patel, who witnessed the incident, said it broke her heart to imagine the unsuspecting child who would have to open those books on Christmas day while her siblings strut around with their Nerf guns and Frozen-inspired merchandise. “I almost considered taking the books out of the box and sparing some kid’s holiday, but it just didn’t feel right,” said Patel. “I mean, I didn’t want to get stuck with them.”
At press time, Hutchinson was sitting at his desk, feet up, imagining the day come January when he might see one of his very own pupils curled up in the corner, hiding a hardcover copy of Life of Pi behind her textbook.