Saturday 12 January 2019

Street Life

Out shopping this morning (a major theme of my life just now), I couldn't help noticing that the high street was swarming with leaflet-wielders demanding a 'People's Vote' on Brexit – as against the 2016 Referendum, which, as you might recall, was open only to the nobility, clergy and landed gentry. I did not engage with any of these eager pamphlet-pushers, though I did reply to one in three short words: 'We've had one' (a people's vote, that is – but of course that one didn't count because the people stupidly came up with the wrong answer, so now we must try again and this time Get It Right).
  My other local high street – regularly the scene of amusing passive stand-offs between those inviting us to 'Discover Islam' and those urging us to praise the Lord and seek His Salvation, Hallelujah! – has recently been invaded by a young and pushy sales force urging passers-by to switch their utility company. Yesterday I noticed that they were not in their usual place but had moved some distance up the street. I soon discovered why: on the concrete pillar in front of which they usually set up their stall, some public-spirited soul had written, in very large black capitals, 'Energy muggers stand here', with an arrow pointing to their regular station. Nice work.
  Like many (most?) people, I resent such muggers and chuggers, whatever they are selling, intruding on my reveries – and the chummier their approaches the more unpleasant I find it (How's your day going? Well, it was fine until you came along). I've never bought or signed up to anything in response to an approach in the street and I'm sure I never will. And yet the muggers and chuggers become ever more numerous and intrusive. Perhaps I should work on a basilisk glare so terrifying that it will stop them coming anywhere near me...

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