Monday, July 16, 2012


Nothing vulgar.  Really.  Ever heard of “Chuggers”?  Apparently it’s a phrase coined by the Brits as a way of condensing “Charity Muggers” into one word.   We have them here in Vienna,  although my impression is that they’re much more aggressive on the “High Street”  (British term for any main drag in town)  in cities like London and such.

These are the people who sometimes try to solicit donations from you on the street as you’re passing by minding your business.  Some are more aggressive than others.   Quite often they’ll sort of leap out in front of you,  flashing a smile as they start their little sales pitch.

Typically,  they don’t give me a second look.  Or, in a similar fashion to the way a pitcher might be able to “look back”  a runner trying to steal from first to second base,  they just know better than to approach me.  I’m not usually that surly looking,  but I have my moments,  and sometimes a look is all it takes.

I seem to recall,  and this was maybe a couple years ago,  I just happened to be a few paces behind a well dressed young lady who brushed off an approaching Chugger by simply saying,  “Das geht nicht”,  with a sort of quick sweeping hand gesture.   Duly noted.   I’ve done that a few times.   Saying “Das geht nicht”,  isn’t quite so sharp as saying something like “piss off”,  and instead is more along the lines of “That ain’t happenin’,”  To put it in some sort of Caretaking Vernacular.

It just so happens that I had a little chat with a Chugger this morning.  Of course,  I suppose I could have given her the brush off,  but I had a little of that,  “just try me”  thing going through my head.   A dangerous place, that.   I had just been briefly chatting with at least one shop keeper and one other person in German,  so my wheels were well greased,  but just the same,  the first thing I said to this young lady was,  “Well now,  this will be a chance for you to practise your English”.    I was chuckling ever so slightly inside,  was that mean?

Sometimes what happens is,  they simply skulk away,  since their English is so pitiful.  To her credit however,  she dove in.  Still didn’t get any money.  We had a little chat about taxes,  where we call home,  the charities that I CHOOSE to donate to,  along with tax receipts, and how there would be no way in hell I’d give out any kind of information to a total stranger on the street.   I didn’t really mention anything about the particular charity she was collecting for,  nor what my thoughts about starving little waifs off in some foreign lands might be.  You probably don’t want to know either.

Oh,  and of course the other thing worth mentioning is, this person isn’t exactly donating their time either.  Unlike someone in your community who comes to your door looking for a donation to the Diabetic Association for example,  and who is volunteering their time,  these people are being paid.   Along with their supervisor,  as well as a host of others up the chain.  So by the time the money gets out to the poor waifs in rural Saskatchewan  or areas of Detroit devastated by lack of jobs Africa,  there’s not a whole heck of a lot left over.  Actually,  I haven’t a clue about rural Saskatchewan,  but I’m damned sure there are folks in Detroit who are hurting.   That’s the other thing,  we have our own local “poor people”.  I’d sooner go down to the food bank and drop something off,   or give clothes or whatever.  Sorry there,  African people,  we have our own issues to sort out.  

Maybe I should have pointed down the street to the lady who had “two babies and was sleeping on the street”?  That would be a good place to start.   I always wonder,  where are these babies?  If she’s out begging,  who is looking after them?   Maybe one day I’ll ask.   Mind you,   my Romanian is a tad weak.


On a more positive note,  somebody had a birthday this weekend. 



Not telling who that might be.    I’m probably already in trouble. 

There was a complete lack of segue in there.  Sorry.

One week today and Daughter Number Two will be coming in from Toronto.  She can only spare a week and her hubby couldn’t come at all.  *sniff*,  but we’ll manage.   Of course,  he hasn’t had any kind of a bachelor life for a few years now,  so hopefully he doesn’t slip into a peanut butter and jelly induced coma or something.  Might have to get one of the relations to check in on him from time to time.  See if he’s still ambulatory.   I’m being a little facetious here,  since he’s probably a better cook than I,  but when a guy is by himself?  Um, ya.  All bets are off.

I think that’s it for my little pea brain for today.


We’re wearing down the weeks.


Thanks for stopping in.





  1. well happy birthday to TC..hope she had a great day!!! I too get sick and tired of the door knocking begging donations..but what irritates me more is the 'homeless/poor' street person who sits on a corner daily with a sign saying "I'm hungry please help feed me" while hes TEXTING on his cell....grrrrr have a super week Bob

  2. Happy Birthday to your favourite TC! first I thought the 'tree' was a Christmas Tree, when I first opened your blog today..but I see it is not..
    We have those kinds of Chuggers here too and then there is the ones standinga at an intersection with their cardboards signs..I am homeless I have no work..can I clean your windshield?

    1. Hm. I think I'd classify that as a "pan handler". Used to get them in Puerto Rico. Learned how to leave a bit of a space in front of the car, and then move ahead just as he/she comes back with their sign and their cup. There was one "lady" who was "pregnant" for the whole time we were there. People we asked knew about her. It was a pillow...

  3. Hope the Birthday was fabulous! And that you're not in too much trouble :)

  4. Happy Birthday to TC - hope it was a great one!

    Next time I'm standing on a street corner, I'll be sure to look the other way when I see you coming!

    1. Hey. It's gets really annoying after about the first 50 times, trust me. Plus, if you ever saw some of these characters, you'd think the rubbies in West Van were high class.

  5. No chuggers out here on the island, but I read Norway currently has big Romanian chugger problem. Naah it's quiet out here.

  6. No chuggers here in the small villages of southern Ontario. Probably laying on the beach for a summer vacation.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.