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Monday, 19 December 2011


Dusted this off for x-mas for Jo Fraser.

Tis the season and all that.
The shops are full of people while retailers claim that it's the biggest downturn in business they have seen since last year.
So nothing much has really changed I guess.
Meanwhile everywhere you go the last minute shoppers are out in force buying anything that they can claim they took months to hunt down as they just knew it was the perfect gift for their nearest and dearest.
These desperados are only outnumbered by the Chuggers, or charity muggers to give them their full name.
The Chuggers are everywhere.
It can feel like you can't manage a straight ten yards in any high street without being accosted by one. Two or even three.
If there's a collective term for chuggers I reckon it would be 'cunts'.
Anyway, an aerial view of the high street would show shoppers navigating around them like shoals of fish.
You know that darting thing that you see them do on "The Blue Planet".
It's like that.
One minute everyone is striding along in the one direction.
Then the girl with the dreadlocks and a yellow bib turns her attention to the oncoming mass of shoppers and everyone, (bar the blind fella whose dog hasn't clocked the bibbed babe ahead) does the rapid right angle thing across to the other side of the street.
Just like those damn fish that I mentioned.
This attempt at evading them isn't really necessary though.
The truth is that the charities pick all these cool looking students to do the donkey work for them, and although they appear altruistic they're not.
The girl with the dreadlocks doesn't really give a toss about the planet, dogs, cats or abused children.
The guy with the smirk, goatee and lip ring is ambivalent about the homeless, cancer research and the learning disabled.
They all want one thing, and that's to hit on people of the opposite sex.
I'll accept that the female of the Chugger species is more subtle about it, but Jesus, she does love to bask in the attention of the males that she attracts into her honey trap.
It's all about preening and getting a reaction for her.
The outcome is less important. The attention is everything.
The guys on the other hand are just in it for the ladies phone numbers that they can procure.
These guys will hit on anything within a certain demographic.
Over fifteen, under thirty, female and fit seems to be the remit.
Nothing will deter them from their aim.
They will clamber over the girl in the wheelchair, shoulder charge the big issue seller into the gutter and kick the blind buskers hat full of change out of the way to get to the toned girl in the miniskirt and bare midriff (In December).
The ring in her bellybutton acts like a beacon that he has to home in on like a tractor beam from an episode of Star Trek.
Once in close proximity he will slip on a cheeky grin and attempt to get a date out of her with the opening line of "do you have a bank account?"
Not that the info given will matter, as for that split second he has forgotten what the charity is he's working for that week.
If pushed right at this point to say what one it is he may gasp 'Eh, it's for homeless dogs with cancer in a third world country'.
This is because the charity is secondary to getting that number.
It's all about the numbers babeeeee.
So do me a favour. Have a look in the mirror and be brutally honest with yourself.
Do you seriously think that you fit their criteria.
It's only at this time of year that they ease out of their comfort zone and consider asking us oldies and even then it's in a half arsed way.
I'm forty, stocky and look like a homeless bum most days of the week. I'm mainly invisible to the Chuggers, even at Christmas, yet for some reason I also do the body swerve across the street when I see them, but I'm going to try and stop.
From now on I want to just keep marching towards them.
If you are all with me, the too short, too tall, too old, too bald, too fat, basically everyone who is outside their narrow idea of what is attractive then we can really put the shits up them.
Imagine us all storming towards them, bearing down on them with our shopping bags and a determined look on our faces.
Let them cross the road for a change.
We have nothing to lose but our bank details........and a fiver a month to save the panda.
So whose with me?


  1. There's often quite a few of them around where I'm busking, and I have to say they're not all like that (some of them are, no question, but not all!). It's a crap job, badly paid and you have to deal with a ton of crap from the folk that organise these gangs of chuggers if you don't meet your targets, as well as being mostly ignored by the public all day. I'm not a fan of this method of collecting for the charities, but having busked around these people most of the year I've a fair deal of sympathy for (most) of them

  2. You should have a wee search and see how much some of the charities take from each pound donated.
    In some cases it is 60p. This money is often misrepresented as going to admin fees, but in the main the costs that it covers are to pay execs, managers, rent for the shops, and even these chuggers.
    While this was tongue in cheek I personally don't think it's a worthwhile way of raising funds and I uncomfortable with anyone asking for bank details in the street and the sharing of info that is sold on to.
    Regardless of all that I'm also uncomfortable with charities as a business to.
    A friend sent me details a few years ago about a breakdown of the costs and people would probably be shocked at how little of their contributions actually go to alleviating the problem at hand.
    Don't get me started on why we even need charities in this day though.
    We throw money at weapons and useless shite while claiming we don't have enough resources to support the most vulnerable in society. It's mad I tell ye. Mad.

  3. I tried to swerve a charity collector today who was dancing in my way with a "no thank you", only to realise it was the delightful Tony Burnett of the F*ckups, who just wanted to say hello. I felt terrible but I think he forgave me! :)

  4. lol! I've had things like that happen to me too Ross! My wee brother worked for them for a wee while!