Clipboard Zombies

They come to protect the environment, they come to end hunger, they come to save the children, eliminate disease and get you right with God,  but mostly − if you are walking down any street in any major American city pressed for time − they come for you.

You know the type. Earnest. Big smiles. Primary color t-shirts to identify them as official, unlicensed nuisances fighting the good fight for fundraising. They have their patter, they have their pens, their forms and their clipboards. They have their urgent, urgent needs. But what they really want is a moment of your time. Just a moment. A small one. Would that be okay?

Charity Girl

So how do you respond? The 100-yard stare seems like a cruel and unwarranted rebuff to their doe-eyed appeal. Barking out “No thanks!” reduces them and their do-good work to the level of panhandler. Plus, it’s not very creative. They try very hard to  interrupt you from your appointed rounds. Singing, dancing, joking, complimenting, they are masters at a certain level of street entertainment, the lowest rung of the showbiz ladder, but a rung nonetheless. Don’t they deserve your best effort in return?

Of course they do.  But it’s hard to bring your A-game when you’re headed somewhere else. They have had, after all, the benefit of professional training, hours of rehearsal and usually a partner to feed them their lines if they blank out − what do you have, besides a  real job you’re sneaking out from for a few moments,   a screaming child in reluctant tow or an urgent need to find a rest room? That’s why it’s best to be prepared. Keep this script of ten simple responses handy for the next time you are approached by a clipboard zombie on the street. Use each in rotation to keep it fresh. You’ll be glad you did.

CUE ZOMBIE: As your stalker starts their approach, smile and act encouraging. There’s no need to be rude! As they start their spiel, you say:

10.) “There are three people meeting me, but they aren’t here yet. Can you seat me now, or do I have to wait?”

9.) “It’s always about your needs! I want, I want, I want. When do I get to live my life?”

8.)  “Please, no autographs before the matinee.”

7.) Place your hand on their clipboard, lean in and ask confidentially, “Is there anywhere close by that sells adult diapers? I mean really close by?”

6.) Repeat everything they ask back to them in an increasingly confused tone. Do not break eye contact.

5.)  Look deeply disappointed, then say in a very small voice, “You and I talked not more than 15 minutes ago. Don’t you remember me? I thought you really cared.”  Stomp off.

4.) Pause after each question, look thoughtful, and quack.

3.) Ask if you can borrow their pen, then leave with it.

2.) Compliment them with the statement, “Most people are so prissy about Anthrax. I’m glad you’re different.” Pat them appreciatively on the hand, then mutter, “Damn.”

1.) Ask them if they would be willing to barter for help. Mention your house needs painting.

This entry was posted in Humor, Satire, Tidbits and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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