Just realised that the missing McCoy may well be off giving birth so may have her hands full at the moment – I would imagine her fanny might be pretty full too !
I think it is Belgian ‘bob-a-job’ week here this week. There are plagues of scouts and guides on the square trying to sell cakes to raise cash. Someone should have told them to spread out a little though, it’s almost like bashing through a crowded tube station full of them. I must have had my best ‘feck off’ frown on because not one of them bothered me. One downside with Belgians is they all speak so many languages. If they approach you in french, you could blag that you only speak Flemish but chances are, they speak both. You could also say you are english but damn sure they will know that one, my only other options are Spanish and Portuguese.
My more avid readers (like that one Musher?) will know my views on charity in the street but for those ‘part timers’ let me refresh you. I do give to charities but only charities I like. I don’t like to feel obliged by someone cornering me and trying to harass me on the street – these people, although only doing a job, are likely to get a very uncomfortable response from me.
Think back to a time in Mallorca when one rainy day steeped in self-pity, I realised that my life wasn’t so bad walking to work in the rain and passing a tramp (I am assuming that word is still OK with the PC brigade). The tramp had clearly been out all night in the same rain. That night, I bought a flask and some soup, some bread and delivered it to the tramp the next morning. Long story short, the tramp, although in Mallorca, turned out to be from Glasgow and his name was Brian. Brian had managed to lose the flask in the first day so I couldn’t refill it for him. On telling the story to a new girlfriend who worked as a landscape gardener, we went and found Brian. She cleaned him up and gave him a job working with her.
He lasted a week – or should I say, he lasted until he had some cash in his pocket and immediately went out on the piss for 5 days and back to his park bench, never to return to the attractive german girl who had given him a golden chance (and a shower too but not a golden one).
Why am I telling you all of this? Well (takes a deep breath as this really did take the piss), yesterday afternoon when I left the local store, the guy that is always outside on his knees, cap in hand was there again. He is there a lot. I have on several occasions given him some change until one time not too long ago I saw him with another trampy friend, cap in hand, on his knees, half cut on the Belgian equivalent of ‘Special Brew’. At that point, I decided I was not going to fuel his alcohol habit. If a man is hungry – buy him a sandwich!
Against my better judgement, and again, feeling sorry for the poor fella, I decided to drop my loose change from the shop keeper in his hat yesterday. This is where it all went so badly wrong from the tramps perspective. My spend in the shop had been somewhat guarded and I used change rather than notes. This meant that I only had a few coppers to give. I actually felt bad about this – I was about to make a gift to a man in need and I was worried that it was not enough. Think about that as a society for a moment. In the act of giving, we chastise ourselves over the value of the gift – why do we feel this bad about not giving enough? I’ll tell you why.
That cheeky bastard – I dropped the change into the hat, he immediately looked in the hat to see what I had dropped in, making no effort to disguise his head and eye movement – THEN, the fucker, looked back at me with sad eyes and disappointment on his face making me feel like some kind of clueless twat for offering a little help. So fuck him from now on, I will never feel guilty again as I walk past him – in fact, I can go one better. Next time I am walking down the street and make eye contact with him, I will obviously and deliberately cross the street, while maintaining eye contact, pass further along before returning to the original side of the street – all of the time, never taking my eyes off him. If at any time he looks like he might look away from me, I will change my direction back towards him and slide my hand in my pocket until I can see his sad teary eyes light up and then, with full eye contact, I will pull my hand out of my pocket, flick him the bird and return to the clean side of the street. Mother fuckers !!!
But it doesn’t stop there. In the UK on Saturday morning with Bill from Ohio, USA, I stopped and bought a ‘Big Issue’ from a vendor. I used to buy the Big Issue a lot, in fact, I can clearly remember when it was only a pound. I had explained the way the big issue works to Bill for homeless people and suggested that it actually is a good read (I sincerely mean that folks – don’t be put off by these guys appearance). The Big Issue is now two pounds and fifty pence – a hefty increase. So hefty in fact that I stopped buying it for fear of becoming bankrupt myself due to their ever-increasing costs. So , I approach the vendor, start rummaging through my change laden pocket for some dosh and pulled out 3 pounds. Have a guess what that cheeky bastard said to me?
‘Do you want the change?’
For fucks sake – it seems the gift of giving is no longer enough. I wanted to say ‘of course I do you cheeky cunt’ but clearly english wasn’t his first language and my rant would have been wasted on him.
Now that you know all of that, you might forgive me for never giving to charity again – but – when we get our hearts broken, do we stop chasing pussy ? Of course not. I still give to charity. Poppy Appeal always gets a tenner in the pot – most of the old boys say ‘that’s a lot of money’ when they see me dropping it in – I always respond with a smile as I say ‘A small price to pay for freedom’ as I take my poppy. RNLI always gets a donation, not just because I work at sea but many years ago I used to surf a lot in England. I never needed them, but they were always there if I did. Lastly ‘Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots’ always used to get a tenner from me. They were a rarity years ago but now they are nearly all gone. I did see a collection at Clacket Lane Services around two years ago and gave generously and took my sticker.
Now, moving on, I am about to head into the forest on my bike for a couple of hours. My T-shirt fits and looks great, it’s about now that yours will be dropping through your door if you were a winner (Lex, yours may take up to 7 days). Remember, the next competition is open to T-shirt winners only and requires a minimum of three photos (there can be more) of you wearing your shirt, and one of those must be wet. Not being sexist in any way – the boys must also comply. Entry into the next competition is automatic and for this round, the judge with be the public at large so wear it well.
Congratulations to Amy Cooper for getting hacked