Friday, 18 September 2009

Charity begins in the gents

I found myself in a strange senario this morning. I was walking to work when I need the loo (that's not the strange bit, it's quite a regular occurance). So I popped into a shopping centre and used their facilities. When I was washing my hands there was a guy messing around with his hair (I almost wrote my hair, that would have been strange indeed). Now, I had a pot of VO5 matt hair clay on me. Don't judge me, I usually forget or run out of time to do anything with my hair in the morning so I usually do it in the car if I'm getting a lift in. So I had a dilemna: do I keep the sacred rule that you never talk to a man you've never met before in the gents or do I offer him the use of my hair product? I thought it too weird and the man had to make do with just water. Yet, was that what Jesus would have done? Probably not.

Another charity case that I experienced today was those fundraiser people that haunt highstreets and attempt to guilt trip you into signing away you're bank account. I unfortunately made eye-contact with one of these people, but I avoided her by darting into a coffee shop. Here are other methods you can employ:

The Phone
This is the simple technique of pretending to be talking to someone on your phone. Just put it to your ear and fake a conversation like this: "Really? What happened? [pause] Ah that sucks. What did she say? [pause] Well she had a point. Anyway, have to go. Bye." Once you are past them end your imaginary conversation, because let's face it, it's a bit sad. You may think this deceit is morally dubious, but it is the most moral of my methods.

The White Stick
This morning I observed that no-one bothers a person with a white stick. The mild irony was that the charity they were signing people up to was SeeAbility, so they'd be precisely who I'd be targeting. But no one is going to risk startling the blind person, are they?

The last resort
If you've left these props at home and you've been caught unawares by the fundraisers then you may have to opt for this one. It's simple, as they approach you clutch your chest and mutter into your shoulder. If they manage to make eye contact with you, look distressed and mutter louder.

My simple guide to avoiding those wretched charity collectors. Remember, desperate situations and desperate measures and all that.

  1. Would you have shared your hair products?
  2. Any other more ethical ways to avoid signing up to these charities?
  3. Do you think you shouldn't dismiss these poor people on the street anyway?


  1. 1. I would have shared my hair products.
    2. & 3. Well, you could just take a leaflet, even read it and just say to the person you'll think about it. I've been giving leaflets out about the school I teach and I've been amazed at how receptive Spanish people are. They just take your leaflets and even come up and ask you for them. It makes a big difference.

  2. That is HILARIOUS! I burst out laughing in the church office - i hope no one heard me...
    1. I think I would have probably done the same thing as you- I would have dithered and then left feeling guilty. However, girls toilets are a lot more friendly I find as usually I have conversations about how long the queues are or something... so I guess if a girl needed something when she was in the loos I probably would have given it to her.
    2. I cant stand charity people who guilt trip you into signing up with charities and I told one woman who worked with unicef that in the past I had been guilt tripped into signing my bank details away which I think is totally wrong because it should be a personal decision, not one forced on by others. That annoyed her a bit, she said it was a shame that some people spoil charitable giving by being all pushy. Therefore, I think it's best to take a leaflet but then say you'd give it more thought rather than signing up then and there.


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