I often find myself walking in the slipstream of families or large groups of people to avoid the chuggers (charity muggers) who like to accost me in the street.
They often open with the line “Do you like small, cute, fluffy puppies (no brainer) or the more aggressive how would you feel if a panda died and it was all your fault?”
Don’t get me wrong, these are all very commendable and worthy causes but I’d just rather put my money into a tin in a one-off payment then pass my banking details to a complete stranger in the street – because that’s normal – and sign up for a “small donation” of £5 a month (£300 in 5 years) and, at some future date, have to wrestle with my conscious as to stop paying for helping the homeless or to continue and become homeless myself.
Market researchers are worse. They ask you for a “minute of your time” with seemingly no concept of what a minute, actually, is. You spend so long on the pavement, people think you’re a part of the worst flash mob ever, whilst the police are posting up “missing person” notices on lamp-posts behind you with your face on them.
They’ll ask you 75 banal questions about the importance of street-lighting and eventually reward you with an energy saving lightbulb for your time.
I often get stopped and asked if I’d like a gym membership? I’d like to think it’s because I look like a guy who works out but I suspect it’s more likely that I look like a guy who’s one pork pie away from death.
Recently, I was asked if I’d like to spend a weekend paintballing with friends?
“No,” I said.
“Because I don’t have any friends… Well, I do but none I’d like to shoot in the face with a paint gun.”
She won’t be bothering me again.