If there is a God, I'm sure he hates charity tooSubmitted by w_t_a_y_s_t_r_m at 2009-06-24 09:01:46 EDT
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My daily journey to work involves a walk across London Bridge, where on any day you would pass up to ten different people all trying to collect money for some charity. Add to this Big Issue sellers, beggars, people walking up and down trains making the same announcement about "just trying to get a bit of money to get a hostel for the night" and various collection boxes and sponsored events around the office, I would say that on an average day I get asked for money roughly 8 billion fucking times.
Seriously, if I gave money to everyone who asked for it, I'd be the one walking up and down the train asking for cash just to give to the last asshole who I wrote an IOU to. I'm already in a scheme at work where money is automatically deducted from my salary so they get the full amount and no tax on it or anything, so as far as I'm concerned I do my bit.
You might say "if you can afford to spend money on comics, then you can always give more", but I would say "fuck you, I work for that money, I'm going to spend it on me". Bad attitude? Sure. Do I care? No, remember I started off saying "fuck you".
One time stood outside the pub someone came over and asked for change, and when I told him I didn't have any for him he told me to prove it. Needless to say that didn't end well.
Last summer something new started, however. They had people patrolling the streets in tribes to get people to sign up for whatever charity they decided to support that week. Considering I work in the complete asshole of the city it's a real surprise that we have about five or six just outside the building.
One Friday afternoon last year Zach and I were stood outside enjoying a cigarette, with the bastard sun beating down on me, making my balls melt and slowly run down my trouser leg, when one of the people approached me.
Now, I'm never rude to these people, I just normally tell them no thanks, nod, smile and walk away. And that is normally enough. However, after being outside for about six cigarettes this day I was already really pissed off with them constantly coming over and trying to get my credit card details and address.
As we were stood there, leaning against the wall, cigarettes hanging loosely from one side of my mouth, while Zach nonchalantly tossed a coin in one hand like a pair of Guido greasers, one of the mentioned assholes approached. I made the mistake of making eye contact with him as he came over. To my defence I instantly shook my head and said "no".
Instead of taking my hint, which must have been too subtle for him, he continued on his short walk and then stood, literally, two inches in front of me. I swear to God, I couldn't see past him he was so close, and with my back against the wall I had nowhere to go. I calmly repeated "no" and tried to look away.
"You don't even know what I'm going to say yet." He said, mock offended, like we were good friends joking about the good old days.
"I don't care." I said. "It's still no."
"I was just going to wish you a happy weekend, sir." He said, some shit-eating grin spreading across his face.
"Right." I said. "Thanks."
"Are you having a good day, sir?" He asked, still sharing my personal space, aka My Bubble of Pain. No, wait, that sounds gay. I swear to God if I had got even a little excited right then he'd have felt the poke.
"I was." I said, getting really uncomfortable, and all of a sudden desperate not to get an erection as if I was at risk of such a thing. "Could you just go away, please?"
Those were my exact words, and that was exactly how polite I was.
To be funny, he took half a step back. I didn't realise just how hilarious this gobshite was, so I turned and took another drag on my cigarette and turned to face forwards again to exhale. I didn't know he would still be right there in my face, suddenly sharing my smoke.
"That's really rude!" He yelled at me. Normally I'd agree with him, but if you're really going to try and Eskimo kiss me then fuck you if you don't like my breath.
"Then don't stand so fucking close," I said, not quite as angry as he was, but still pretty heated. Then I made the mistake of adding "Prick."
This time he did take a step back, threw his shitty clipboard and pen down onto the ground and then stepped back up. "What the fuck did you call me?"
Without waiting for an answer he tried to shove me. Unfortunately for him, as I was already leaning on the wall, and what with me being a lot heavier than him, he only achieved in pushing himself backwards. He ended up stepping on his discarded clipboard, which slid out from underneath him and caused him to land on his ass.
By now a little crowd had gathered, and his little support group of other charity workers rushed in to back him, lift him to his feet and give me nasty looks.
"What did you do that for?" one of them screamed. The fact that she was hot instantly pissed me off because she had such a whiny voice. I was actually at a complete lose for words as to what I had done exactly, so I took a final drag on my cigarette, dropped it to the floor and turned to Zach, who had just stood and watched the whole thing.
As I walked away I started to feel a bit of guilt about what had happened. Not because I had done anything wrong, but it was more empathic towards the guy who had just made a tit of himself. I turned to Zach just before we got to the door and asked him, "Did I do anything wrong there?"
"Shit, no." Zach said. Perhaps he wasn't the best person to ask, as he's pretty much the most no nonsense, uptight and selfish person I know. "Fuck charity." And then, for no real reason, he stopped, turned back to where people were just now starting to move away, flipped them off and shouted "You hear that? FUCK CHARITY!"
He held the pose a little too long, until it started to feel awkward, and then we made our way back to work and forgot about the whole episode.
Today I saw the first lot of them out there again for this summer. Maybe there'll be a rematch of epic proportions. Or I might pussy out and just sign up.