Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bugger Me! This Beggars Belief!

I am not a fan of charity, believing that it begins at home. I am always in the High Street charity shops, here in the UK, because being poor; I love to go shopping in them. I have over time, picked up some lovely bargains. For example, the carrying case for my lap top. It is a lovely leather Targus (I think they are made in Chinese sweatshops), and not only can it accommodate my 17 inch widescreen laptop (brand new from Virgin Train charity shop), but easily takes the separate keyboard, mouse, webcam, headphones, books etc. It has loads of nifty pockets for lots and lots of widgets and things.

The case was almost brand new, hardly a scratch and after some serious haggling, I got the thing for just £5 pound. Unfortunately they didn’t have; Buy One, Get One Free, but still, I was well pleased when I looked it up on the internet and found that they cost about £60 in the shop.

The only draw back – it weighs a ton when fully kitted out to its bulging zip line. On the good side, a bag snatch thief would dislocate his shoulder pulling it off mine.

I have also managed to pick up some stunning African art work from another charity shop on Finchly road. (In support of Third World Save the Mercedes Benz Salesmen, or something like that.) Because I live in the past, I like my surrounds to be African theme. I have a large tiger skin on my couch and a plastic Bison head mounted on a wall and two flea bitten stuffed mating kangaroos, holding up empty bottles of XXXX beer, cleverly turned into aboriginal lamps, in my round cave’s corners. My few friends compliment me on my taste when they come to read the water and electric meters, but they never stay long enough to listen to my heroic tales of bravery against all odds as the Last of the Rhodesians.

Anyway - flushed with success over the Targus (not to be confused with Dr. Who’s telephone box), I attempted to knock down the price for three original pictures, made from grass or papyrus or something like that, of an elephant, zebra and giraffe.

Mounted in a gilt wood frame behind glass, the sticker on the back of each, stated that they originally were sold from the famous, Jack’s Art Gallery, 2855-Broadway, New York. I bet they were a pretty penny then.

Offered at five pounds a pop, I thought this was taking the piss and started to hint (‘I give ya a tenner for the lot’), delicately to the rather miserable looking cow pretending to work there for free, who took offence and said to me, rather huffily-

‘this is a charity shop to raise money for the poor and needy, not a car boot sale. The price is a minimum guideline, we actually hope that customers will pay more.’

Is that so! Well, fuck me with a feather! What a brilliant idea! Of course – it is so easy. I got all hot and excited, as my brilliant, lateral thinking brain went into overdrive. Giving the good dear exactly the minimum amount ‘requested’ and not a penny more, I managed to put the boot in a bit more, by paying with my VISA card, knowing that the poor starving will get shafted at least 3% less by them. Then I dashed off home to do some research.

Here it is. My idea to save Africa:

We only purchase electronic products with humanely and local indigenous populace beneficially mined casseritite ore tin!

Now, I can see you scratching your head with amazement, wondering why you hadn’t thought of this yourself! Pure genius! As every circuit board on the planet contains the stuff, if we all paid twenty times more the amount for our electronic gadgets now being offered, for ones proven to be ‘happy mined tin’, we could seriously reduce wars in Africa, like the 4 million dead so far in Demonised Republic of Congo, fighting over natural resources.

Will it work- will it fuck! Try getting a Brit to bring a Made in China cotton bag into a supermarket to put the groceries in instead of using one of several billion Made in China plastic disposable ones, is about as easy as asking the government to put a deposit on tinned beer empties. You would see how fast they disappear from the streets then!

Still, if the worst comes to the worst and you become a down and out bum like me, begging for a few pittances to ease your way just a little, as you pass from one life to the next (God help us if when we get there, Mugabe is organising cloud invasions), you can still get a job bumming coins from the gullible in London.

There are people who actually pay you to beg for the poor and needy! Hard to believe, but it is true. In yesterdays METRO (a freebie newspaper aimed at underground commuters), under classified adds I came across this little gem –

“I’d bounce naked on a Spacehopper”

Full-time Charity Fundraisers - £8.50-£13.50 paid weekly.

If you enjoy work you can feel good about and great rewards using your charm to great use by raising millions for leading charities like
MIND and Friends Of The Earth, call Sharif on our 24 hour hotline 020 7281 8908.

GIFT- Street fundraisers.


So now we know why there are such hard core beggars, licensed to make us ill on Oxford street, Saturday, rush hour shopping time. I was also thinking that Sharif must get very little sleep manning the phones all that time.

I pulled out my calculator - Presuming you are a Zimbabwean asylum seeking refugee doing a working Brit 45 hour week, never take a holiday because you can’t afford it, and pull the maximum wage, you could be earning £31,590 a year (might be tax free if its charity work) to get people to feed your family at home! I love it!

Still, if that isn’t quite your forte because you stayed on at school and have a few qualifications, there are other positions available. Here is another advert in the same paper. This one is extra large, 5 inches by 5 inches, for a position at home in the U.K. I have abbreviated it a bit because I couldn’t be arsed writing the full waffle.


(logo of a horse and a donkey giving coy looks)

Healthy working animals for the worlds poorest communities.

We operate in many developing countries reaching over half a million donkeys directly affecting the lives of the people who depend on them.

We are looking for more donkeys to join our rapidly braying brood:

Database Officer: Salary 19k-22k

Accounts assistant: Salary: 21k-23k


Both of these jobs are financed by fundraising. In other words, people are shown pictures of beaten, starving donkeys and pay money to send someone to a land of donkey owners and once there, tell the owners that, if they stopped beating the donkey and starving it, it might work harder.

This just has to be the first time a donkey employs a human to do the donkey work!

If you want a flash 4x4’ , a large house with massive garden and servants, you got to be an ‘administrator’ for a NGO charity in Africa. The real liberal souls who do the donkey work and live like peasants with the peasants tend to have paid their own flight to get there and happily finance themselves for the privilege of being donkeys.


Finally, I wish to thank all that have been visiting. The hit increase has been amazing. I am now floating around 13th place on top one hundred Expat sites which isn’t bad, considering the ones above me are serious pro web sites. I will try to post at least once a week, so keep coming back. For the newbies, please scroll the archives, they are full of insane gibbering.

I will add more links from people who have linked me, asap - many thanks.

Don’t forget to vote YES on my poll, there will be a 10% discount for everyone that votes and buys my book - if they can prove it.

Best Regards, till next time-

Lore: Simply the Pest.

P.S. : I could mouth the jaw of a donkey off here, but I just gotta get on with the book and the OU.

1 comment:

Jin said...

Hmmmm......I shall be checking the archives I reckon!
A couple of years back, there was a report about the 'financial abuse' charities seem to love tucking under their (probably Persian) carpets. Oxfam admitted that something like 90% of all their donations collected goes on 'administration fees'. FFS! (abbreviated English, sorry!)

On a sentimental note, some of my fondest memories of Rhodesia are the old LP's of Wrex Tarr :-))