09 February 2012

More Fun with Spruikers


What an eventful week it’s been. I don’t want to put the mozz on it, but February is shaping up as the best month in quite some time. I really don’t know where to start on this one, but since it’s been a while since I’ve actually sat down and written anything, I think I’ll warm up with a quick run through with an old favourite.

How much fun is playing with street spruikers?

I met a really nice one last weekend, who, despite having come up from Sydney, refrained from making comments about how he had no idea what was going on and how different Darwin was from Sydney and how it was sooooooo hot and how much he liked the markets. I mean those are all valid points (except the markets one. They don’t start up again for a while yet), but you’re not going to convince me to give you money by telling me how weird my home town is. Like I don’t already know. This guy made sensible comments about the charity he was spruiking, and actually listened to my answers and questions rather than abandoning each unsuccessful persuasion technique in favour of a different approach. In the end, I had to tell him I was all tapped out for charity donations for now, but if you have some spare space on your credit card, go check out Mission Australia’s Youth Up program. It looks like it would be really worthwhile getting behind.

Meanwhile at a different charity stall:

Hot German Backpacker: Hi. Would you like to come and talk to me?
Gw2Rs: (checks watch and confirms how much of his lunch hour is left) … Okay.
HGB: What is your favourite animal?
Gw2Rs: The velociraptor.
HGB: The what?

And with that she blew any possible chance she had of being taken seriously, either as a charity spruiker or as a human being. I decided to stick around and see how much free information I could get out of her.

Gw2Rs: Never mind. I like eagles.
HGB: Wow. What an interesting answer.
Gw2Rs: … ?
HGB: Most people say cat or dog.
HGB: I know. So have you heard of the WWF before?
Gw2Rs: The wrestling show?
HGB: … No. Well, what we are doing is we are trying to save endangered animals from extinction. Do you like tigers?
Gw2Rs: Sure, who doesn’t?
HGB: Did you know there are five different types of tigers in the world?
Gw2Rs: Hmm… Bengal, Sumatran, Siberian, Tasmanian… What’s the last one?
HGB: … I don’t know. But what is really sad is that soon all these different kinds may be extinct. Blah blah blah reducing numbers, blah blah destruction of habitat, blah blah humans are evil. We are starting up a new program to help tigers. In ten years, 2022, it will be the Chinese year of the tiger. We are hoping to save all the tigers in the world by the time that year comes.
Gw2Rs: Sounds good. Apparently this year is the year of the dragon. How many of them did you save?
HGB: I don’t know.
Gw2Rs: (gives up and leaves).

Apparently the missing tiger types are Malayan and Chinese. They aren’t so well known, mainly because they really are as rare as they say they are. Maybe it’s just as well. I was going to suggest Italian, but God knows what the next poor guy would have been told if I’d given her that idea.

Make of that what you will.

Garry with 2 Rs
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