I'm in Brisbane this week for a wedding and a U2 concert. Wandering around the Brisbane CBD this morning I realised how much I've missed the opportunity for some sporting backchat with the friendly neighborhood charity spruikers. I mean, sure we have them in Darwin, but not with the same intensity and optimism as in the larger eastern cities.
I met a really nice Amnesty girl named Freda who was cleverly set up under cover out of the rain beside a set of traffic lights, so she could pick off helpless pedestrians waiting for the green man. She wasn't even asking for money, just signatures on a petition demanding an increase in living conditions in Myanmar.
Then I met a really rude one from some child sponsorship agency called The Plan. She didn't even give me her name, she just asked me a whole series of rhetorical questions about the benefits of giving them money. I explained that I already had a sponsor child through Compassion and that I couldn't afford to take on another at that time. She responded by asking how good it would be if I gave more. I impolitely excused myself and moved on. I really don't like it when they force me to be rude in order to end the conversation.
But by far my most unusual experience today came from a spruiker not for a charity but for a manicurist's Christmas package. I guess he thought it was worth a go.
Golan: Hello. Can I ask you just one question?
Gw2Rs: Only one question.
Inside Garry's head: How would you like your remains displayed?
Golan: How long do you think it would take to give yourself a full manicure?
Gw2Rs: I have no idea. You're asking the wrong man
Inside Garry's head: Really? Of all the questions available to you, that's the one you're asking?
Golan: My name is Golan. I'm from Israel. Have you heard of Mount Golan?
Inside Garry's head: That's two questions, punk.
Golan: It's in Israel. It's named after me.
Gw2Rs: Is it in the Bible?
Gw2Rs: What happened there?
Golan: ... Many things.
Golan: I'll show you how this works. Can I have your hand?
Gw2Rs: Um... (proffers hand anyway)
Inside Garry's head: That's three on a technicality.
Golan: Is there a special lady in your life?
Inside Garry's head: Thanks for asking.
Golan: A mother or sisters?
At this point Golan started rubbing my finger with some sort of rectangular shaped piece of plastic. I still don't know what it was. He made some more chit chat about how although men aren't usually interested, women will spend hours coating their nails with chemicals to make them shiny and smooth. I wasn't really listening, as I wasn't really interested. Blah blah no chemicals...blah blah easy and quick blah blah. He finished buffing my fingers and took his plastic rectangle away.
Gw2Rs: ... ?
Gw2Rs: Oh... yeah. Wow.
My right index finger was now faintly reflective. Apparently this warranted a capitalised wow.
Golan: And that will last for two weeks.
Gw2Rs: It's going to stay like that for two weeks?
Gw2Rs: Um... Thanks for your time.
Inside Garry's head: Challenge accepted.
So now I'm typing away with one ridiculous looking fingernail reflecting my blogger screen back at me. You'll be happy to know I'm making progress on returning to normal with a combination of soft drink and hamburger grease.
On the other hand (see what I did there?)
Garry with 2 Rs