Yup – it seems what a lot of people say holds up to reality this time – it really ain’t safe to walk the streets any more….
….what with all them murderers, rapists, ASBOites, street preachers…. and charity clipboarders on the loose!
Seriously, it’s like negotiating an obstacle course at times, walking down the West End or one’s local high street; it seems that all a group of people need do is stick on a fancy badge and dig out a few clipboards, et voila – an instant license to harass! ASBOites take note – the Happy Slapping Giz a Fag Mate Party could garner exponential rewards!
In any case I’m usually a skilled evader of said clipboarders – a dodge there and an unmet glance there usually proves sufficient.
This Thursday proved a most educative lesson on the consequences of letting one’s guard slip.
So, I journeyed to Romford – a place notoriously rife with said clipboard charity cases – last Thursday in order to view Hard Candy on their resident bigscreen. Arriving early, I decide to kill some time at a few choice high street stores; however, taking a wrong turn proved to be my downfall….
“Hey, gorgeous!” a female voice cries upon my emergence from a side path; turning around I spot an somewhat attractive twentysomething making away toward me—in any other context that might be welcome!
In this context however, my heart immediately sank to my soles upon taking in the sight of her. Green shirt… pen… clipboard – upon seeing these, I knew that I’d allowed false pretences to lure me into a trap!
So, after the introductory spiel and the introduction of her pet cause, she asks me: “What do you think of the ad campaigns on TV?”
“Ha – they’re kinda dramatic,” I reply, remembering the rather amusing doses of melodrama piled on. A door…a table…a fist…
“I think they’re not dramatic enough. I want them more militant. I want them to show the dead victims of child abuse to really ram the point home.”
This continued with her talking up a storm of case studies, sentiment and appeals to aid; trying to ask for an internet address to make a personal self-mediated donation only got brushed aside in favour of the clipboard.
“I want you to be spontaneous,” she responded to my third (or fourth) attempt to avoid doing things her way.
So standing in the street to fill in a standing bank order out of a misplaced sense of guilt would have registered as… spontaneous? Being swayed by the sentiment of the moment to signing one life away proves ….spontaneous?
Her appeal toward the close of our exchange exposed its true nature:
“I know you’re gonna help us!”
I remember a thought akin to “Fuck you!” roaring aloud in my head at the time. How did her tactics differ in any fundamental way from the child abusers she rallies against? Appeals to act against one’s will in order to obtain favour with one’s dominators. I know you’re gonna do this for me; you wouldn’t wanna make me upset now; theeere’s a good boy…..
This wasn’t a philanthropic appeal, this was a power struggle – and woe to the vanquished!
Woe, indeed! After putting up with these coercive persuasion techniques for long enough I asked her name, shook her hand and walked on by, reclaiming my personal space and leaving sweet Lara to contemplate her failure; breaking young ladies’ hearts proves to be its own reward!
Seriously though, I often wonder what charities hope to achieve with these shock troops of theirs, congesting the streets with their “compassionate” cajoling. They come across as so fanatical, so fevered, that I can’t help drawing parallels between them and crazed street preachers and church recruiters; then again one could argue that an earthly wage (plus commission) works as a much stronger motivator than a heavenly salvation.
Some would say that I contribute to the rape, abuse and murder of a child when I choose not to give eight quid a month to the cause….
….I argue that the clipboard contingent contribute to the rape, abuse and murder to the concept of charity.
I rarely comment because I always agree, and your eloquence leaves me without the need to request clarification. I’m commenting now to say “wonderful story!” simply because no one else has yet.
I’ve got the same kind of “save the children” fucks around here. As if the rampant amount of homeless isn’t enough to deal with.
Think one homeless person at the bottom of a stairwell, another at the top, another at the entrance to the street, two at varying points along said street, one at the corner, one two stores down said turned corner. Et. Cet. Er. AAAAH!!!
Anyway. I’ve stopped taking any and all flyers. Anyone who approaches me and asks for anything but the time (or maybe directions, if I like them) is blown off/ignored or threatened.
I never stop to talk to these people to say anything more than “do you see this fork? It has two uses. The first is eating my lunch. The second is being embedded in the eye of your choice if you attempt to impede the eating of the aforementioned lunch”. Most times my scowl and Kenpo bag with the giant red fists all over it help to pass along the message that you’d be better off approaching white guilt McGee in the business suit.
But regardless, I hate them. They are an eyesore, a waste, and a massive inconvenience. And some of them have the gall to try to insult you if you just pleasantly ignore them. At which point things get all sorts of nasty. You may only insult me under the watchful eye of my employers, I’ve done enough retail to kill you with kindness. In the street, oh my it becomes fun.
Anyway. Some of the german tactics were right. Incinerate the fucks and be done with it.
at my university we have many many aggressive clipborders who are always asking “innocent” questions like, “do have time for the envirnoment today?”.
my school is notoriously home to, shall we say, “psuedo-militant” liberal activists.
one day, one of these people made the mistake of sneaking up behind one of my friends and grabbing him on the shoulder to try and draw his attention to the “cause”. my friend instantly acted upon his first instinct, which was to punch the petitioner so hard in the face that he hit the ground.
Hahaha – that’s hilarious! Sounds like your friend has a unique definition of giving to the needy….
yes, that’s why we love him!
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Her: “Hello there!”
Me (mentally): “Ah, fuck…”
Her: “Yes, you! Justin!”
Her: “Justin. Bieber. You look like him.”
Me: “I’ve just decided I don’t have time for you after all.”
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