City Human Spam
posted by January 10 at 14:41 PMon
Walking up Fourth Avenue around one this afternoon, I watched as a scrum of WashPIRG volunteers intercepted hapless office workers headed back from lunch. The office workers just wanted to get back to their cubicles—baby, it’s cold outside—while the WashPRIG volunteers… er, wait.
They’re paid solicitors, right? Those WashPIRG kids can’t be standing around outside all day, in the freezing cold, wearing their WashPIRG jackets and holding their WashPIRG clipboards, for free, right?
So I watched as the WashPIRG workers hit the office workers up for donations. And I thought, man, I hate those WashPIRG people. I know, I know—all for a good cause, blah blah blah. But I still fucking hate it when one of a WashPIRGer collars me on the street. According to their website, WashPIRG is a “non-profit, non-partisan watchdog group working on behalf of consumers, the environment, and good government,” and the subtext to any interaction with a WashPIRGer is, basically, “Give me some money—unless you don’t care about product safety, the environment, good government, and all that other stuff.”
Most people—smart people—say no or shake their heads and keep walking. Some folks try to be nice and exchange a few words with the WashPIRGers. But allowing yourself to be drawn into a conversation with a WashPIRGers is not a mistake you make again. But there must be some folks that actually make a donation. Otherwise WashPIRG wouldn’t send these folks out into the street to harass people, right? If some folks didn’t fall for the WashPIRGers earnest, guilt-laden pitches, they wouldn’t be out there on the street at all.
You know what? Those WashPIRGers? They’re human spam—they’re the original spam. What are we constantly told about spam? If it weren’t for people stupid enough to respond—if it weren’t for guys buying penis enlargement pills or going into business with the widows of Nigerian generals—there would be no money in spam, and the flow of spam would instantly cease. If we want to stop the spammers, we have to ignore the spam. All of us. And most of us do. But just enough of us respond, just enough of us fall for it, to make bothering all of us worth a spammers’ while.
Remember that the next time a WashPIRGer collars you on the way back from work.