You know what ruffles my feathers?

Those red fleece-vested Children's Miracle Network volunteers who harass you on the street to sponsor a sick kid. God, you people are just the worst. I know that they're just trying to save lives and build hospitals around the world and I recognize that that's noble and beautiful and blah, blah, blah, so keep your emails to yourself. But really, they're the worst. And here's why:

First of all, those be some strategic bitches! I first encountered the Fleece Mafia when I worked in midtown Manhattan and they worked along 42nd street, which I took to get to and from my office. I ended up re-routing my morning commute to avoid their shenanigans, but I've had enough run-ins to know how they work:
1.) They work in pairs and are staggered down the street. That way when you see one and veer towards the other side of the sidewalk to miss them, you run directly into another (see helpful Microsoft Paint document below.)
2.) They're engaging. They don't start off by directly asking for money. They first ask about you. And you love talking about you, don't you? Normally they'll start by innocently asking how you are. And the thing is, they seem to genuinely care about the answer, which I always accidentally appreciate. Seriously, it always gets me. Like I just can't deny someone the privilege of knowing that I'm doing, "okay, thanks." BUT DON'T FALL FOR IT! YOU CAN'T ANSWER! Because then they've got you. You might as well just punch yourself in the heart, give them your wallet and walk away. Because people are sick and if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile. You think you're having an innocent conversation about yourself with an attractive fleece-vested individual and all of a sudden you're sponsoring a kid in Africa for $30 a month
which is only a dollar a day when you really think about it, L0LZ!
3.) They're normally young and attractive. This increases the odds that you'll answer when they ask how you are. I've had my heart broken this way before and it's not pretty. One time I was walking down Madison when I locked eyes with an attractive, slightly punk-looking, regulation hottie. I gave him the old Meg McBlogger sex-smirk, and he responded with a full-blown ear-to-ear smile. "Hey," he said casually. "Hi," I said coyly. "What are you up to?" "Just gettin' coffee." "Well what if instead of buying an overpriced cup of coffee every afternoon, you decided to make a difference in the life of
" GOD DAMNIT! He was wearing the red fleece vest under his leather jacket, that sneaky motherfucker! I pushed him out of the way, picked up the pieces of my heart and got a venti latte at Starbucks, which I threw away without drinking to prove a point.
4.) They've got some BALLS! Whatever strategy you normally use to deflect solicitors in the street won't do a damn thing to deter those fleeced-assholes. Listening to music on your i-pod? They'll shout. Read their lips. Not making eye contact? They'll get up in your personal space and make sure you see them in your peripheral vision. Got a "don't fuck with me," look on your face? Yea. They'll fuck with you. Trust me.

It's not that I don't want to help people. I do. I really do. It's just that I don't have the means. Despite this fabulous lifestyle I lead of wearing Target and stealing toilet paper from work, I don't actually have a lot of disposable income. So I don't appreciate you making me feel like a soulless asshole for not wanting to give $30 a month to a non-profit founded by the Osmond family. I've got bigger fish to fry, thank you. Like my rent. Specifically, like how I couldn't come up with $300 of it last month. So my condolences to Mufasa in the Sudan, but I really don't want to sleep in a refrigerator box tonight. I think I'm going to go keep the $30 a month, if that's okay with you.

Also, don't fucking harass people for money in the morning. I don't know about you, but the morning for me is just a big one-woman battle not to cut a bitch. I got Khakis McGee walking in front of me with her big fat ass waddling to and fro so I can't pass her and a woman walking behind me who keeps ramming her god-damn baby stroller into my ankles. At this point, my #1 priority is to keep myself from playing the ass of the woman in front of me like bongo drums before turning around and shouting, "HEY LADY, KNOW HOW TO MAKE MONGOLIAN BABY? HERE'S A SPOILER: I KILL YOUR CHILD AND EAT IT WITH SOME TERIYAKI SAUCE IN THE END! KEEP KNOCKING INTO ME AND I'LL GIVE YOU A DEMO!"

Given that information, maybe it's not the best idea to get all up in my face and ask, "Got a minute?" because, guess what Gandhi? I don't. So I'm going to look away and keep walking. And after I do, I wouldn't suggest that you laugh it off and say, "Welp, I guess someones in a hurry! I'll catch you later!" ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Yes asshole! I am in a hurry! It's 8 fucking 45 on a Monday morning! I'm not taking an early morning stroll before I go to a jerk-off club meeting! I'm in a hurry and I have things to do, I'm sorry, trust me, I am! Maybe we can rap about Malaria and what horrible person I am some other time.

My new strategy for dealing with the Fleece Mafia is to simply say "recession" when they approach. I can't suggest it enough. Don't even make it a full sentence like, "Oh, I'm sorry, it's a recession." Just say it quick and forcefully. "Recession." I dare you to argue with that, fleece-fucker.


Anonymous said...

My strategy:

Them: Hey! Have you got a -
Me: Sorry, I hate children.

Their subsequent stunned silence for a few precious seconds is all that's needed to make a quick getaway.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Or what about dead panning "abortion."

I might play around with that one this week.

Ashley said...

How about, "I have the HIV"? I mean, if you're dying...then that $30 needs to go to your I'm dying Fund...not someone else's. Maybe they'll even offer to add your name to the list of dying people you can sponsor for $30 a month...

Warren said...

Dude, totally took the thoughts right out of my head. I work in downtown Chicago, and we're a prime breeding ground for green polyester vested Greenpeace money-whores. They're on every street corner in a 5 block radius. How am I supposed to purchase my economical Cosi salad in peace when I've got granola huppies shaking it for a dollar?

If anything they should give you stickers like when you vote: "I rejected you today, a-thank you very much."

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

I've never had a run-in with Greenpeace, but Rachel just emailed me that they lead with "do you care about the environment?"

I don't even know what I would do.

Unknown said...

Khakis McGee. i nearly spit a chocolate egg out of my nose i laughed so hard.
about to go have the same run in. I spend the majority of my day trying to figure out a way home that doesn't involve Penn ave where i have to fake a phone call to get out of that nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I once completely flipped out at one of those guys in London. I had my ipod on and pretended like I couldn't hear him, so he grabbed my arm (YES!). Which then evolved into me standing on the street simply yelling "DON'T TOUCH" at him over and over again... I'm not proud, but I think it was a lesson he needed to learn.

Anonymous said...

I know this is kind of dispicable but when I get harassed by GreenPeace I just yell "already a member!" and breeze by and sometimes they even congratulate me on helping the environment which still makes me feel really good about myself even though it's a total lie...

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...


Anonymous said...

Yeah, those greenpeace fools seriously get to me. Somehow I doubt they generate any real charity.

S said...

greenpeace and wwf nuts plague the streets of philly, especially collegetown. back when i still lived there, my strategy for avoiding them involved pulling my cell phone out and pretending to have a very nasty argument with the "person" on the other end. no one wants to try to take your money when you're dropping f-bombs left and right!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving me reason #101 on the list of why it is awesome to work at home. Although, this might just be a subset of "No commute other than the 100 feet between the bed and desk" Sorry to rub that in.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

What does it feel like to live the dream?

I hate you.

Can I work for you?

Anonymous said...

ugh, seriously. I resent being made to feel like a shit person just coz I don't want to give to someone harassing me on the street. I actually DO give to charity, just not when someone's fucking demand it from me.

I wrote a strongly worded letter once to a store where they sell those charity bags for $2. I usually buy them seeing as I hate plastic, but on this one occasion I already had another bag so I said no. The SA wouldn't let up and was all "It's only 2 dollars! You can spare it!" THAT'S NOT THE POINT DAMMIT.

Anonymous said...

OH MAN. I totally got hit today while I was waiting for you after work! He was hot and I totally would have thought we had a chance if he hadn't been holding a clipboard. So not only was I irritated, I was momentarily heartbroken.

Hot Asshole: Hey! Look who it is!
Me: I'm late.
HA: Oh, come on! I'll write you a late pass.
Me: Uh huh.

I then proceeded to buy pants to avoid doing laundry. Do I feel guilty? Nope. My pants are AWESOME.

Anonymous said...

ugh, these motherf***ers have my school's campus strategized like its WWIII. and they seriously send the hottest guys out, holding a book (not a clipboard) so i always think they're students! sneaky bitches.

i was having an honest-to-buddah convo with one, and all of a sudden he pulls this out of his ass: "So, you wanna help out some homeless kids today?" WTF?!?! asshole…
i just said "NO!" and walked away in that jaded, i-wont-let-you know-that-i-was-just imagining-our-kids way.
ahh, i'll never fall in love again…

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I usually don't have a problem telling people to fuck off, especially strangers, but the fleeces are just too cunning. I'm now a card carrying member of the ACLU, and get phone calls from them every two weeks. Plus I signed a petition for Greenpeace. I don't even know what it was for.

Anonymous said...

those guys are the WORST. i'm a nanny and usually have baby in tow, so they come up to me all "oh hey, you look like somebody who likes kids!" and i usually look away or bolt across the street, but i'm getting tired of all these "almost getting run over" days, so next time i'm with a baby i'm just going to say that i hate kids and see what they think.

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