Little Carlton is a prisoner of conscience. Some people think that's funny.

Right now, all across New York City, thousands of Red Sox fans are being persecuted for their faith. And to make matters worse, some people consider that to be a source of amusement. Don't believe it? Consider the following "lighthearted" article from the April 21, 2005 edition of the New York Times:

Sometimes, the West Side is Just Plain Grouchy

By Jennifer Steinhauer

...On Monday, on Broadway near 90th Street, a mother in low-rise jeans stood waiting for the light lecturing her son, who appeared to be about 5 years old. "If you want to root for the Red Sox, that is your choice," the mother said, "but you may not sit with the rest of the family during the games."

The pained child protested. "But we are Yankees fans," mom replied, ticking off the names of each member of the family as they hurried across the street. The child tripped, fell and dissolved into tears. Mom scooped him up. They made the light...

Some people may find this little tale amusing, but not us. We're the Benevolent Loyal Order of Ancient and Honorable Diehard Red Sox Sufferers ("BLOHARDs") and to us there's nothing funny about breaking a child's heart. While you can be assured one of our crack social service teams will intervene to protect little "Carlton", New York is teeming with "Carltons", all of whom need our help. In the Bronx, there's "Dewey" whose wife won't let him dress his baby in the cutest little Red Sox "one-sie"; the East Side is home to 14 year old "Rico" whose sadistic uncle refers to him only as "Derek"; while 72 year old "Oil Can" of Westchester County has lost six different Red Sox caps to hooligans on her occasional visits to Yankee Stadium.

Mr James Powers, President
42 Forest Ave.
Rye, NY 10580

Dear Jim - Count me in! Like you, I won't rest until every New Yorker is free to root for the Boston-based major league baseball team of his or her choice.

I will pay $20 for annual dues
I will enclose a special gift of $___ for the BLOHARD endowment
I have remembered the BLOHARDS in my will.

Name: ________________________________

Address: ______________________________

City: _____________ State: _______ Zip: _______

For these and hundreds of other desperate souls, the BLOHARDS serve as a beacon of hope. Our referral program helps our membership navigate a hostile city; the BLOHARD "Hot Lunch Program" provides hungry Sox fans with sustenance for both body and soul; and our field trips afford members a rare opporunity to relax and "be themselves" with others just like them.

All of this costs money, and there's never enough to go around. Won't you help? BLOHARD membership is just $20 per year and includes a bumper sticker and membership card. Please respond today!

Sign me up!