I’m not sure about you guys, but could there be any better feeling than taking a walk through the streets of our fair city on a sunny day (let’s see how long this lasts) like today? Actually come to think of it, there probably are better feelings but nevertheless Montreal is certainly more than a pleasurable city to take a stroll through. Read on…

This brings me to my case and point. It seems as soon as Mr. Sunshine makes an appearance so do activists/street teams for every possible cause/organization you can think of: Greenpeace, The Red Cross, buskers, beggars… I can go on for a while. Now, before anyone goes ape sh** on me, I must clarify that the latter enumeration is just an example and in no way do I place the groups listed under the same umbrella. Yes, some causes are more valid than others, and organizations/charities are in no way the same thing as a busker. Likewise, I have quite a bit of respect for charitable causes such as The Red Cross.

What I am trying to say is that it seems that on every street corner I turn, I’m being stopped, harassed, nagged, persuaded,  you-name-it-ed to give, buy, support… well, you get what I’m saying. Really, it’s almost incessant and overbearing! All I’m really asking for is to be able to walk a block or two in peace! Is it so much to ask for?

I’ve therefore come up with several ways of dealing with said interactions (if we may call them that).

  1. Yes, boss, I can have the files ready by noon! (The Phone Call Technique): You see them on the street. They’ve made eye contact with you. It’s too late! Just whip out your phone and pretend to have a very important incoming call.
  2. No comprendo (The Foreign Language Technique): Pretty self-explanatory. Simply claim not to speak the language that your counterpart is speaking and move on.
  3. Are you from Mars? (The Confusion Technique): As soon as you are spoken to, simply look at the person in question as if they had something wrong with them. No, don’t give them the evil eye… Just stare at them as if there was something wrong and walk away. I must admit this one is quite amusing just to see the reactions you get in return.
  4. Spare some change? (The Beat Them to the Punch Technique): Ask your counterpart for support/change/whatever before they have the chance to ask you. This throws them completely out of their realm. Also very amusing to see the reactions that come out of this.
  5. Last, when all else fails, I guess you might as well give the Jedi Mind Trick a whirl!

So, how do you deal with buskers, peddlars, street people, organizations?