I realise salesmanship is a virtue that not all possess.
Take American foreign policy in the hands of George W. Bush, for example.
Or, on a more metropolitan scale, panhandling.
There are certain strategies I have observed around town for soliciting funds that are more effective than others.
For example, smell.
That's a "don't".
That's a "do".
Offer some of your Scope in exchange for a quarter or two.
That's a "maybe". I've had days where I'd have killed for a swig of Scope to keep me keepin' on.
Offer to "smack" someone if they don't comply with your request.
That's a "don't".
A practical application of these rules of thumb can have a positive or negative effect on your cup balance at the day's end.
Recently, an acquaintance of mine from Timmins (or was it Sudbury?) strayed a bit from my 'common sense rules', and his freeform panhandling was both unorthodox and unsuccessful.
A- (approaching me outside Union Station)"Hey, buddy! Can I speak to you for a minute?"
A- "Look. I'm, I'm real embarrassed to be asking you this, but I. . ."
B- "Sorry, pal. I know the schpeel you're going to give; not today. Have a good one, though."
A- (to my back as I walk on)"Fuck you!!"
B- (amazed; turning)"What did you say?"
A- (amazed that I turned to face him)"Fuck you!!"
B- "Look, buddy, I was trying be polite and all you can do is tell me to fuck myself?"
A- "Trying to be 'polite'!" (mimicking my voice, like a girl's) "I know the schpeel! Fuck you!"
B- "Look, asshole! I do know the schpeel. You're real embarrassed, but you need some money to get a train ticket back Timmins, or Sudbury, or wherever, and could I spare some change. Am I wrong?"
A- (silent, a bit confused)
B- "There's no reason for you to tell me to 'FUCK OFF!' just because I don't want to give you money."
A- "I've got $30 already!" (shows me a ten and a twenty)
B- "Can I have some money?"
A- "No! Fuck you!"
B- "Fuck you! You've got more than me!"
I began to walk away again, when A tried to get the last word.
No one gets the last word with me. I hate having the second to last word!!
A- "I should smack you."
B- (turning to face A again)"You should what? Smack me?"
I was getting pretty indignant. This dude was trying to get money out of me in all the wrong ways.
And, I feel it is important to note that he was no bigger than a benchwarmer on an Eighth Grade basketball team. Now I'm by no means a goliath of a man, but if I can see someone's pattern baldness, I begin to feel at bit bold.
B- (nearly chest-to-chest)"If anyone is going to do some smacking it's not going to be you, little man! Try using some manners, asshole! This approach is getting you nowhere fast."
He started to walk away, but I felt proud because he kept looking over his shoulder in what I construed to be a 'fearful' manner.
Afterwards, it dawned on me that I should have given him some money to get back to Timmins or Sudbury as part of my civic duty to clean up the manners of the city.