Saturday afternoons are the perfect time to go shopping. When it comes to shopping I am a fully qualified expert. If I was ever to give up my day job I would happily work as a personal shopper. I can spend my own money like it’s going out of fashion so it only seems natural that I would be more than able to do the same with everybody else’s. Shoes, clothes, soft furnishings for the home: I don’t mind what you want – If you give me your Platinum card I’ll shop my socks off for you.
Don’t you just hate it though when your shopping trips are interrupted by the ‘clip board vultures’ that loiter in the streets and pounce on unsuspecting shoppers? You can usual identify them as ‘eager’ students with brightly coloured North Face jackets (not that they ever intend on trekking up Everest), clipboards in one hand and pen poised in the other. Whatever the cause, whatever the story, THEY JUST WANT YOUR MONEY! The speech should go like this, “Fill in this lengthy form and give all your personal and bank details to me. You don’t know me from Adam, but it’s for charity”, (followed by a cheesy smile). It can be funny watching people try their best at avoiding them. I have to admit that I too have tried the “Oh look in that shop window” technique of changing route or the “Is that my mobile phone ringing in my pocket?” trick.
The Saturday I am referring to in this blog took an interesting turn as I walked along The Hague’s main pedestrian street. I saw a couple of guys standing together without clipboards. One of them had a camcorder and was filming the other. Naturally this grabbed by attention and found myself wanting to be stopped. I meandered over to them, being the nosey person I am, and acted mildly surprised when they stopped me. I had a feeling they weren’t on charity business.
The guy without the camera explained that he wanted to challenge me to a game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’. I agreed as there seemed no reason not to. Next he explained the finer details. We would play ‘Best of 3’ and the loser would have a forfeit. With confidence I agreed and asked what the forfeit would be. It was a can of beer which the loser would have to down in one go, on camera. I can’t bear beer, let alone downing a can in one go. I had to win!!
As you can imagine the atmosphere was tense (well, as much as it can be for a game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’).
Round 1: I won! (Relief)
Round 2: I lost (I didn’t want the beer).
It was time to use the process of elimination. I was standing in the street questioning my sanity. I was thinking tactics?
Round 3: I won! (Oh yes, tactics work!). Never let anyone tell you that it’s chance.
The guy was left to down his beer, on camera, with his friend filming while being thoroughly entertained. Next was the guy’s burp! Loud doesn’t even come close! It certainly grabbed the attention of those around us.
As for me, I was left wondering what had just happened. I said goodbye, walked down the street and thought “What WAS all that about?” My conclusion…. Not all people in the street who want to stop you want your money. If they have a camera on them then stop as it could be more interesting than you would expect.
Now for some pictures that really made me laugh.