I’ve often wondered if I have some kind of sensory beacon attached to wherever that marks me out to freebie hunters as el paradisimo, every leaflet distributor, tramp, professional beggar, shop assistant trying to get rid of that dodgy thing at the back, every sad story real or otherwise has come my way at sometime. The other week I saw a rather gentle looking lady hurl abuse at another who asked her for money, Bruce Banner has a sister, do not approach, one lady I surmise that is ulcer free. Why can’t I do that? I ask myself, the main answer being I’m an after the event person, the words and opportunities there to be taken I never realise until afterwards and it’s just not me.
These days I must admit I don’t get accosted so much, years of cultivating the look associated with degradation are starting to pay off but there are still times when I know I’m in the radar area and put into effect my cunning avoidance techniques, these basically amount to keeping ones head down and going deaf, avoid, and this is imperative, making eye contact with the collector, leaflet dispenser or interviewer. Its rather sad of me to say that I quite enjoy successful avoidance of a well managed collection campaign the ones that cover every angle of the street, the ones that leave you in no doubt in their opinion, what your duty is. Call me old fashioned but if I give I like to think its my idea and a great way to do this is charity shops retail therapy for the bewildered wallet with a dash of goodness thrown in, leave with a 10 year old book or CD, job done . All the above is useless however against the supermarket ploy which is new to me but a stroke of genius. On a lunch break I go to get a loaf and until I get to the checkout I’m unaware that this loaf will cost me £5, packing the bread diligently into a bag is a school kid raising money to go help some people somewhere or other, heart strings comprehensively tugged the collection box gets my change, they are on all the checkouts, ambushed.