A woman tried to sell me a fireplace this morning. No she didn’t: she tried to give me a free fireplace. All I had to do was to have a new central heating system installed in my house. You’ve probably met her. She stands just a little way along from the 2 MENCAP chuggers, just before you get to the “Fitness First” leaflet girl and the Childline herberts. The streets are full of weird-looking people asking for your money.
Would you give money to this man?
Remember when the walk to work was just a matter of negotiating the occasional RNLI flag-seller or the Salvation Army? No? Well you’re younger than me, then. The Sally Army started it all, and I guess they did have a kind of dignity about them. Back in the days of black-and-white an old girl from the Sally Army used to come into my grandad’s pub selling copies of The Warcry.
Brian would put down his darts and agree to buy one, on the condition she stood on a chair and sang a song, which she always did without argument (presumably Onward Christian Soldiers, or Bringing in the Sheaves).
She was then helped down off the chair, and left the pub bereft of one copy of her newspaper, but up to the tune of a couple of farthings. Certainly a better deal than she’d get nowadays. If she walked into my pub shouting “Warcry” she’d be greeted with a drunk chorus of “Geronimo !!!”. No sheaves would be brought, and certainly no rejoicing would have been had doing it.
So as I sit here in my bathtub full of Taka Dahl, resplendent in my Madonna T-shirt and Red Nose (yes, it’s that sodding time again) I want to make it clear to you all that I’m in no-way adverse to a bit of charity work. I give to the causes I like, when and how I like. Not in mid-pint, mid-pee or mid-grouch on the way to work, just cos some spotty git waves a clipboard at me on London Bridge. WHY AREN’T YOU AT SCHOOL ANYWAY ????
Talking of charity cases, is there any hope for the England Rugby XV this year? Probably not. Martin Johnson is looking more and more like the deckchair attendant on the Titanic, as his charges dive cauliflower-ears first over the side and into the icy waters of the sin-bin. Refs are handing out cards like Japenese reps at a sales conference?
An England fan displays both
his displeasure and his goolies.
To take our mind off the inevitable victory of a French XV over an England XI, let’s all join hands and pray for an Italian win. That’d make up for everything—even the cricket.
Oh well, that’s my weekend plan anyway: In front of the rugby on the telly with a crate of beer, on a warm sofa and the fire at full blast (cos, you see, I already own one.)