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Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Clipboard Mafia

Current mood: Bitter

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Central London. Busy place. lots of people, most of them cunts that arent worth even worth shooting with one of my patented looks of disgust.
Luckily however, almost everyone harbours similar levels of hatred and contempt for their neighbours. the majority of people you encounter have a mutual "no eye contact, no interaction: no worries" kind of relationship. A kind of perverse community spirit.
I say most people, because everywhere you go theres always the people who take it upon themselves to overstep the line. to encroach on others personal space.
By and large, these people are harmless. kinda like benign social tumours. yeah, they are a pain, but at least im not gonna lose a kidney over it.
These people range from the homeless fella on the street who calls out the odd "alright mate?" in the vain hope that youll chuck him some coppers so he doesnt stab you, right down to the cheery "hello" from the guy from the office upstairs that calls me craig.
for the most part, i can deal with these people, with a forced smile, a nod, and slight accelleration in the opposite direction.
The people i cant stand however, is the bucket shakers, the clipboard mafia...
...the charity workers.
now, as you've probably guessed, im no bleeding heart, but im also not a completely insensitive arsehole, so on more than one occasion i've found myself snared by them.
they walk along side you, firing out their cause at you, and if you show any weakness, you are fucked. slow down by a fraction of a MPH, and they will leap in your path, and ambush you, like some sort of smiley, oversized, poorly printed t-shirt wearing dick turpin.
if you stop, you are fucked. theres no going back from that. you either have to stand, listen, and waste half a lunch break, or risk looking like some miserly scrooge infront of londons 7million commuters.
The problem is, you often see them waay too late to escape, and when they catch your glance, they hunt you out like some sort of evil military technology, and then its all over.
to try and get around this, i bought the biggest pair of headphones i could find, thinking "if this doesnt show them i couldnt give a shit about the world around me, then nothing will". These headphones were big. i mean really big. they had their own postcode, monarchy and indigenous animals.
So big, that im not even sure the permanent neck damage i'll sustain from wearing them is worth avoiding a few of these charity guys, but, much like lung cancer, i'll worry about that when im/if i get to be an old man.
This headphones were one of the worst purchases i have ever made. for one thing, the bass response is terrible, they make my ears hotter than the surface of the sun, and worst of all they did NOTHING to deter those leaflet flinging bastards. if anything it made them try harder to get my attention, so that was 25 quid down the piss pot.
By now, anyone reading this is probably thinking "just give them some change you cheap fucker", and my response to that is an epic STFU, and GTFO.
these people dont want change, they want bank details. they want a direct debit set up so i can send 3 quid a month to an admin office in slough, that may or may not send the money to a country that ends in "stan"
i have several problems with this.
1. The fact that my 3 quid a month will probably cover admin fees
2. That they expect people to do this and go home (to a 3/4 of a million pound flat in chelsea) with a warm fuzzy feeling like they are mother theresa, really making a difference to the "little people".
3. These unscrupulous, sharking bastards are getting PAID to do this. thats right, PAID TO STAND IN THE STREET, HASSLING PASSERS BY AND BEGGING FOR MONEY.
its a fairly good wage too. some of them are on about 7 - 8 pounds an hour (14 - 16 dollars for the yanks).
And they have the bollocks to look down on you for not throwing bundles of money at them when they ask for it.
I've been stitched up by these morality thugs once, and i'll never let it happen again.
I was walking to get some lunch, when i was attacked with the "Excuse me sir" (buttering me up with formalities) "but, can i interest you in signing up for a charity fun run?"
I paused for a moment, which is when she pounced.
through that forced smile, and trowelled on chipper attitude, she said "its for disabled children"
thats where i came unstuck.
i paused again to think, which gave her enough time to really sink the claws in.
the next 15 or so minutes is a bit of a blur. all i can remember. is a flurry of papers, then a pen was thrust in my hand, and before i knew it, my signature was down, and i was fucked.
im no runner. (lifes a journey, not a race), and i've never come first any sort of run before (fun or otherwise), so i tried to look on the bright side. she DID say it was for disabled kids, so i should win this one easily. instant self esteem. finally a charity where i can reap the rewards.
it was only when i turned up on the day, reached the starting line and didnt see ONE fucking wheelchair, that i realised i hadnt quite understood what she'd meant...
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