Ding dong. Open the door. There’s a high school kid there, well-dressed. He says he’s my neighbor from “down the street”. He launches into a description of how he’s in a public communication class and they’re supposed to meet friendly, nonviolent neighbors. I smile and fake a punch. He smiles back. Then he gets to the meat of it: he’s going to go overseas to intern at the BBC but must raise funds! Here we go. He’s not selling magazines! No, this is “worse”! They’re making him sell books. Now, lots of people are “saturated with books” so what they’re doing for us book-saturated householders is allowing us to buy books for others. In this case the “kids in Intensive Care at Childrens Hospital”. The pitch arrives at “what most people are doing” which is sponsoring a boy and a girl (nice way to set up two sales).
I politely refuse; I have to cut him off to do so.
He asks “Why?” He says that this is about public communication! I respond that he’s publicly communicated very well, but he’s not getting money from me today. Again he says “Why? I just want to know, so I can improve for the next people I talk to. What could I do differently next door?”
I said “You could find someone nicer than me.” There was a pause and I smiled brightly.
“That shouldn’t be too hard,” he said. Off he trudged.