What's up with collecting aluminum pop-tops for kidney dialysis? Someone at work asked me to start saving the pop-tops from aluminum cans because each little teeny piece of aluminum was supposedly worth one hour of kidney dialysis. How can this be true? Is it legit or one more scam?
-- CAT, the net
The National Kidney Foundation has been beating this rumor with a stick for years, but it still won't die. It has survived for at least two decades, so the story must satisfy some deep human need. The elves took a vote and decided the tabs-for-dialysis legend appeals because it allows us to do good for those less fortunate without sacrificing anything or interrupting our regular routine. Drinking that 12-pack suddenly becomes an act of charity. Your next beach party could be fully tax deductible. At today's rates, a million pop tops (calculated by others to weigh about 12 pounds) will net you $11 at a state recycler. The cans they were ripped from, of course, are worth a lot more. This logical snarl never seems to slow down the true believers. We're going out for a beer. You start thinking up a gentle way to break the news to your co-worker.