My daughter, parents and I headed off to a Christmas fair a few weeks ago.
There was a good mixture of stalls, selling everything from baubles to Christmas gifts and everything in between.
The stalls were all fairly busy, but there was one that remained empty of customers, with just a few outdoor bug houses and leaflets on display.
As we walked past, the man on the stall asked if I was interested in learning more about the bug houses.
As I think it’s quite a nice idea to get kids involved with that kind of thing, I called my daughter over; thinking that maybe we could buy a house or a book on how to make one.
Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that this man wasn’t selling the items at all – they were merely a way of demonstrating his real wares, which was a subscription to the charity he worked for.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for raising money, but I won’t ever subscribe to a charity on my doorstep, on the phone or anywhere else for that matter.
They never have a leaflet you can take, or some information you can look at later; instead the only form they have is one where you can fill in your bank details.
The man on the bug stall could have talked for England, and after showing us every page of his charity magazine, we were wondering when we could ever leave.
My daughter’s eyes were glazing over; my fixed smile was fading, but still he went on without a single pause for breath.
Finally, my parents came over and told a little white lie about my brother waiting for us at the door, so we were able to leave.
As I hurried off, the bug man shouted after me, “Hurry back, it only takes a few minutes to give me your bank details!”
Yes I’m sure it does, but he’d be waiting a lifetime if he thought I’d give them to him.