Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mind your own business

David has been posting an informative and typically brainbending series on statistics, in which we commenters have touched on the problems of opinion polls. As we know, political opinion polls favour Labour because Conservative voters are worried about possible haranguings from passing 80s alternative comedians; but I suspect that another element is that conservatives are more likely to answer with ‘mind your own business’, and thus polls are biased leftwards via self-selection.

Talking of which, I was once entering a branch of Sainsburys when a female peddler of some sort of plastic usury approached me and demanded: “Excuse me sir, but how much debt is on your credit card?” Now I like to think of myself as a cooperative sort and I always tell chuggers, surveyers and other pests to sod off in the nicest and most roundabout fashion, but the impudence of this one had me reeling and I couldn’t help but reply: “Um, that’s my business, thank you very much.” The sales trollop then had the gall to look stung and hurt, as if I had been rude to her.

That was some years ago so I can’t honestly say that such intrusive salesmanship is part of a trend; which is just as well or we’d have to dodge people trying to get us to test out free samples of Preparation H in the medicine aisle; or viagra-mongers demanding to know how the old fella has been standing up to his task lately.


Willard said...

Go for it Brit! I wish I could be more like that myself. I've only done it once and let them have both barrels. It was just after my Dad died and I was emotionally f***ed. This one loud woman came pestering me twice on the same day. Didn't dare do it a third. Bloody woman was a quivering wreck when I'd finished. Loved every second of it.

Sophie King said...

If I'm with my young daughter I try to keep it polite. I'm also training her in the art of the general-purpose basilisk stare which, if deployed correctly, stops people in their tracks. On the few occasions when this fails and I'm on my own, I resort to snarling.

Gaw said...

I like greeting approaching Hare Krishna devotees with a bright-eyed 'Jesus loves you, you know'. Works every time.

worm said...

I always just say 'sorry, I can't speak english' in my best english accent and walk quickly past.

Hey Skipper said...

I start with heartfelt gratitude for their concern and time, followed immediately by a sorrowful, but complete, disinterest.

If that doesn't work, then they end up looking like Wily Coyote after an Acme bomb goes off in his hands.

Thankfully, they nearly always suss the state of play at step one.


Okay, I'll play.

Today's word verification: aelter

The first word of a Beatle's song title until considered lyrical reworking carried the day.