Oprah gives the gift that keeps on giving
As you might imagine, the audience went nuts until Oprah dropped the bombshell. That $1,000 would go to someone other than themselves. That's the kind of gift that makes rich people feel good about themselves, and the rest of us feel sorta horrible. Sure, we want to give money to charity to. We'd like the good feeling that comes with tithing and personal philanthropy. We'd also like the good feeling that comes with paying the phone bill on time.
See, it's not the gift of charity that's such a bummer. It's the way she taunted the audience. First, give everyone a $1,000. Then, tell them they have to give it away. She didn't give anyone the joy of philanthropy. She gave them guilt. The reported wave of disappointment that washed over the audience after the "charity" announcement is the kind of thing that inevitably leads to a late night bout of angst over what a greedy, horrible person you must be for not wanting to part ways with your shiny, new $1,000 so soon.
Fortunately, everyone got a Sony DVD Handycam to "document their good deeds." Did I say to "document their good deeds?" I meant to take the bittersweet sting out of Oprah's "favorite gift."