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Most people don’t like volunteer workers. That’s a bit harsh, what I mean is, people don’t seem to have the time to listen to Religious people on the streets or to people campaigning against animal cruelty – and it’s sad. Well, I must admit, sometimes they annoy me too, but I do try to make an effort to respond if I can (if I’m rushing to catch a train or attend a tutorial so I don’t fail terms, I’m not going stop for no Jehovah’s Witness).

So it was with great disappointment that I began this “almost” irate attack on these poor people, standing out in the cold, handing out leaflets, that most people just throw away without even a second glance. “Why” you ask, “have these people earned my scornful glare”? I’ll tell you why, my unsuspecting reader (“unsuspecting reader”? What am I, the narrator from “Batman and Robin”?) – within the last week, I have been the recipient of 3 (not 1, not 2, but 3) acts of stupidity from these people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting the whole bunch in the same basket (although it may sound like that, you must remember, I’m a very confused young man), I’m just perplexed at their actions, amazed even. Lets see now:

1.     On my way home, I was handed three pamphlets. Before I got to this distributor, I noticed he seemed to be very careful in his selection of the public who would receive said pamphlet. When I walked past, 3 pamphlets were thrust in my direction. How pleased I was, I must have been a perfect candidate for what was being publicized. Well guess what? I walk a few metres on I examine the pamphlets (all three) and I discover what they are for…FREE SUN-TANS! To those of you who haven’t got the idea, let’s just say I’m not in the market for a tan…ever. What possessed this person to single me out? What? Was it the light? Or the complete confusion caused by so many pale-faced people in business suits walking past? I don’t know. I suppose I could have given them to family and friends, but most of my family have no need of a tan and I think getting a tan is the last thing on my friends’ minds. I have to admit, this incident did not really anger me, it was quite amusing actually. But thinking back on it, it seems very stupid. Naturally I went back and gave him back his pamphlets stating, “I don’t need a tan” and went on my way. I did hear “You’re right” followed by an embarrassed laugh, but I was in a rush to catch a train.

2.       Now this one annoys me. This time going to Uni I was stopped by a religious person. I have nothing against religion, religion is fine; I like to think of myself as a bit religious (just a bit, though). Lets see, she was carrying 2 books and wearing a semi-sari; this person was a Hari-Krishna or someone affiliated with Hinduism. I was right. She approached and showed me copies of the Ramayana and the Bhagavad-Gita. Out of all the people she could see, out of all the multi-ethnic crowd of NZ pakeha, Europeans, Chinese, Polynesian, Maori, she chose me: the most Indian looking fellow you can find and singled me out to talk to about Indian things. You may think I’m being petty, “She could have been asking a wide range of people” “She doesn’t know you know about that stuff”; just take a look at my next point.

3.       The same as number two; possibly even the same person. But this time I was with a Chinese friend. Not that I’m saying they have more reason to approach a Chinese person, than an Indian one, it’s just that I’m pretty sure it was the same person, and she yet again went for the possibly more Hinduism-inclined of the pair. Incredible.

Oh well, I’ve just wasted a few minutes of your time with my nonsensical ranting. Go on get on with your much more interesting lives. Stop for the pamphlet givers if you dare. I’m sure it’s just a few who are not quite up to the play. Never yell at or smack them (however much you may want to) because they probably don't even want to be out in cold handing out things to unreceptive people and you could get arrested (we wouldn't want that would we?). Sorry if I’ve offended anyone by this I didn’t mean it (did I? Of course not).  Until next time – then again, you’ll probably never come back.


By Rajeev Mishra © Copyright 2001 www.The-J.cjb.net 11 August 2001