“Would you like to help save lives today, sir?”

“That will be £18.05 please.”

As soon as I’m about to pop my card into the reader, “Would you like to pay one pound to Cancer Research today?”

Shit. Not that I do not want to give to charity, three funerals in recent years have been due to this horrible disease. I’m also not made of money, if I donated to every charity that approaches me on a daily basis I would end up pleading in the street, too. I hate to turn any down, I guess my experience of cancer was a big influence.

As I am about to make my split-second decision, I act out what it would sound like to decline. “Can I interest you in helping save lives today?”, “Erm, not today thanks”. That is how I imagine it sounds to the other person. It’s what it sounds like to me. It is not worth the hundred little pennies to feel like a monster or the rest of the afternoon.

Maybe this is why I went ahead and increased the amount due to £19.05. I could easily spend fifty times the amount asked of by the charity on tequila and beer alone, no doubt rapidly raising my chances of needing the charity I have just helped fund.

Swings and roundabouts. 


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