Now, I’m not a native Brummie, but I know that in order to walk down New Street unhassled by market researches, charity canvassers and Scientology recruiters, you need to have a method to get you where you need to be.

I am a big fan of the ZIGZAG. This is simply walking in zigzags up (or down) New Street, avoiding people who want to pounce on you. Sometimes, PRETENDING TO BE ON THE PHONE is necessary, but make sure it’s on silent so if it does ring, you don’t look stupid. But sometimes, you need to be harsh, and then you can use THE SHOUTING. Market researcher/Scientologist/Charity canvasser: “Hi..” Me: “NO SORRY I’M LATE SORRY SHOULD BE THERE ALREADY!” THE SHOUTING must also be accompanied by THE MARCHING, but start it before they ask you.

Don’t make the mistake of doing a ‘stress test’ for the Scientologists – I did because then whenever they asked me “Hi! Have you done a stress test?!”, I could say “Yes” and walk off. I know I could have just lied, but then I thought they might quiz me on it. I’m paranoid like that. Anyway, they keep sending me leaflets. Second class stamps though. So, say you’ve already done a stress test. Unless you’re interested in Scientology, and then by all means go ahead. It’s just not for me!

I nearly posted just the above bit, but it does make a good post by itself. Anyway, my cat died last week, so I was sad, and when I was walking up New Street I hadn’t prepared myself for zigzagging or shouting or marching.

So I was just by the Odeon, walking along in my own little world, and BAM! A market researcher man sensed my vulnerability and pounced. He asked me to do a taste test – for Fanta. He promised me a pen. Now, I was thinking I’d get a Fanta pen, and that was vaguely exciting. I did the taste test (Fanta apple clear, or something, they made me test three different drinks and say which was best, and then showed me some names they were thinking of. Such as “Fanta Tingle”, hahaha!) Anyway, I got a pen but it was for the market research company, so that was a bit of a let down. I should have prepared for the ZIGZAG!

2 Comments so far

  1. Chris B (unregistered) on August 8th, 2005 @ 4:50 pm

    Heh :-)

    I also practice a zig-zag along New Street. Especially at the “more dangerous” Victoria Square end. Oh, and I’m still getting my leaflets from the Scientologists two years after filling in my questionaire!

  2. Hazz (unregistered) on August 8th, 2005 @ 8:27 pm

    I just shout ‘NO NO NO’ at them, usually. Tried it the other day, and only realised after my third ‘no’ that the guy was promoting some kick boxing school. Perhaps not the best bloke to be rude to…

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