Monday, January 22, 2007

Being Charity Mugged for Attention Deficit Disorder on Chiswick High Street

HOW IT SHOULD HAVE GONE:

CHUGGER: Hi, we're trying to raise money for kids with ADD?
ME: Great! Put me down, I've always thought- ooh look, a weasel!

I wander off.



HOW IT ACTUALLY WENT:

CHUGGER: Hi, we're trying to raise money for kids with ADD?
ME: (mumbles) Ha ha, um, sorry, too many, sort of... jokes,
CHUGGER: (annoyed) It's not a joke.
ME: No I know, I just... you know, sounds a bit.. And it's sort of my job-
CHUGGER: It's not a joke to the kids, is it? IT'S NOT A JOKE TO THEM!
ME: Eek!

I ran away. Thirty seconds later:

CHUGGER2: :Hi, we're trying to raise money for kids with AD-
ME: AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

I run away again.

24 comments:

Spinsterella said...

The good thing about getting old and haggard is that you start to fall off the radar of these young-and-hip chuggers.

It's quite a relief, really.

Steve Dix said...

Have you ever tried to teach someone with ADD?

I had to try and teach guitar to a kid with ADD. It was a nightmare. By the time we'd gotten through how to play two chords, he'd forgotten the first.

It didn't help that what he wanted to play was neo-classical metal.

baggiebird said...

Ahh I tend to be listening to my Walkman and therefore don't hear them when they try to talk to me, so they probably think i'm incredibly rude

Anonymous said...

i seem to be a target for the religious muggers (ruggers?).

the best one has to be the german guy who stopped me by saying, in a thick german accent, "hey, nice shoes! you like walking? i am actually a monk!"

strange times...

Anonymous said...

I always say I already signed up with the other chugger up the street. OK it's a bare-faced lie but it keeps the conversation short.

Smat said...

I offer to sign up with their charity if they sign up with mine, and embarass them to death with gynaelogical details (if male) and garner loads of sympathy (if female).
Or march straight through them saying forcefully "I'm sorry, I'm far too busy at the moment".

james henry said...

I always wanted to say 'I'm sorry, I pick a couple of charities every year, and then I ignore them too', but always get embarrassed half way through, which is probably best.

Anonymous said...

I hate them, I hate them, I hate them, I hate them, I HATE THEM.

Billy said...

Chiswick High Street has so many chuggers its unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

I know someone with ADD, and I also know he would find jokes about it hilarious. At least he would, if he wasn't currently institutionalised...

james henry said...

Ah, but was I making jokes about ADD? Or was I making jokes about how being a comedy writer makes it difficult to behave like a normal human being in a number of apparently everyday situations?

YOU DECIDE.

Sylvia said...

Spinsterella, I can't believe you're as old and raddled as I am - James, Real Doc and Baggiebird can confirm this, they've actually met me!

Chugger free zone? Try Streatham High Rd- no chugger lasts more than five minutes. With its high concentration of care in the community types (that's why I fit in so well....) there's no chance of any money

On the occasions I have been caught, having a child with me usually helps, or just smiling like a loon as I trundle past with the shopping trolley......

Chiswick High Rd is very posh - on a night out I noticed the beggars were better dressed than me (mind you, that's not hard......)

If all else fails, just talk into your phone!

james henry said...

Apparently I came across as a bit defensive earlier.

Anonymous said...

Keep your head down and whatever you do, DON'T make eye contact, that's the worst thing you could do.

And, at least you have the excuse of being a comedy writer. What do the rest of us use as an excuse?

Billy said...

I took a bus down the Chiswick High Road this afternoon and saw several chuggers. I didn't shout abuse at them.

Marsha Klein said...

My daughter was chased down the street by a chugger recently, after refusing to pay £x per month by direct debit - she's only 15, for God's sake!

I find most chuggers are deterred by middle-aged women who look a bit hormonally imbalanced, so I'm not bothered by them TOO often. I realise this is of little use to you.

Anonymous said...

You should have listened intently to them for 7.5 seconds, and then followed that damned weasel, James!

I was once given a stick of rock by one of those 'Geranga!' folk on Sauchiehall Street... She followed me, kept asking me to say it 'Geranga!' to 'tell the world I'm happy'. I eventually shouted it out loud just to get her to piss off, and she handed me the rock and wandered off.

I think I've either cursed myself, or now, with the power of the Geranga rock, have the ability to control all chuggers.

Bwah ha ha!

Imo said...

I can cope with ones on the street, it's when they turn up on your doorstep, claim they're very poor and are raising money to go to college and then try to sell you a duster for £2.50. Actually I don't know if the duster is £2.50 that's just a guess, as I never let them get to the duster selling stage.

caskared said...

To follow from Matt's Rugger...I lived in Bratislava for a few months in 2000. There were very few native English-speakers back then, and so if I ever did hear one I'd leap on the chance for a quick chat using lots of long words, colloquialisms and to rapidly gabble. I was gutted when there were a whole group of smart young American men...the conversation ended after they asked me if I'd heard of the church of latter day saints *sigh*.

A tip for avoiding chuggers...leave the country!

jk said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6289933.stm

Thought this might interest you...

Anonymous said...

Hmm, James, I think you were most probably making jokes about how being a comedy writer makes it difficult to behave like a normal human being in a number of apparently everyday situations.

Either way, as the chugger said "It's not a joke to the kids, is it? IT'S NOT A JOKE TO THEM!", then I would have say to her "um, yes it is, and I can prove it".

I suppose that was my point originally *strokes chin thoughtfully*

Jayne said...

I once walked past an Amnesty chugger in Covent Garden, shaking my head and saying no, sorry as he tried to importune me, at which point he shouted SO YOU LIKE PEOPLE BEING TORTURED DO YOU? YOU'RE OK WITH THAT ARE YOU? Which, as I've actually been a member of Amnesty for about 20 years REALLY IRRITATED ME!!!!


Sorry for the shouting, just had to get that off my chest...

nanga parbat said...

I tend to go with the Big Train, "Oh I'm terribly sorry, I don't speak a word of english" defence. It's not plagiarism it an homage...

You want to take my money! said...

There is a temple somewhere in the Borders where they take brain washed young people and get them to fleece their parents out of all their worldly possessions and after they have no more money to give they pack them off in vans and dump them in near Sauchiehall street in Glasgow or Princes Street in Edinburgh and get them to pester people to say Geranga and beg for money.

When they want to get rid of a follower that is not making enough money for them, they get dumped in Leith or Govan, after that they are begging for money in hospital. Nothing beats the knife in face to deter a chugger!