Dear Friendly Street Lobbyist,
No, I'm sorry, I don't have a moment to talk about Greenpeace. What I would like to talk about is you. Look, I know that this is your job, OK. I know that, for whatever reason, you feel that you have love to give, and smiles to share, and kittens to save. I'm not saying I don't care about Greenpeace. I like Greenpeace. I don't like kittens, but let's not even go there. Deep down, I'm glad you're out there, waving at me, trying to stop my 60mph stride, sticking out your clipboard. It's just on the surface that I hate you. See, here are my two problems: One, you're in New York City; and two, you're talking to me.
Here's the deal with problem number one: On any given New York street at any given time, there are only two states that a person can be in:
1. They are too busy/stressed out/crazy to stop (even if they are standing still -- it's possible they've just had a cerebral hemorrage).
2. They are blissfully free of work/stress/psychosis/major illness and are reveling in the fact that they have nothing to worry about and no one to bother them. Except, of course, YOU.
Why don't you go to Minnesota or somewhere where people, I don't know, actually like talking to strangers? You're in New York, buddy. We walk past homeless people. We let pregnant people stand on the subway. Even those of us who are nice, decent human beings have low tolerance for strangers. Wegive to charities, but we like to do it through things we actually trust, like credit cards and the Internet.
Here's problem number two: I personally hate you. I'm sorry to those of you who are advocating for gay rights and environmental action -- I actually think what you're doing is good (not that I'd stop to chat), but your causes are blighted by the assholes who ask me where I get my hair cut. A girl actually once said "Hi!" to me, like she knew me. Not, "Hi, can I ask you a question?", not "Hi! Save the Whales?" Nope, just an enthusiastic "Hi!". I stopped, wondering if I knew her from high school. That's when she raised her clipboard.
Here's a tip: I have a fake cell phone call at the ready a half a block away. I am impervious to all charm, all pleading, all reason. If you faked a heart attack I would just dodge. I will only stop to talk to you if I have been hit by a car and you are resuscitating me. Even then, I won't sign a thing. So, friendly street lobbyists, do yourselves a favor, save yourselves from another heartless asshole. When you see this face ....
[my stupid internet won't let me post a photo here, so just imagine me here, looking menacing yet pretty]