FAQ about a phenomenon that has disturbed me for some time - chuggers.
1: What is a chugger when its at home?
chuggers are the grinning lunatics who molest you on the street in order to get your bank details. They work for charity so they play on our guilt. But more of that later.
2: Woah, don't like the sound of them. How do I recognise a chugger?
If you're out and about in the city centre and some idiot with dreadlocks and a hi visibility vest who's not Mick Wallace comes capering towards you, then chances are they're a chugger. They will most likely be tap dancing two inches from your flabbergasted face/ making tootling noises and windmilling their arms like psychotic circus performers/ juggling/ covering you in a fine mist of spit/ taking your eye out with a stray dreadlock/ moonwalking/ making you trip over old ladies as you frantically try to avoid their sinister tricks. There will be some accompanying garbled monologue about sparing a second of your time but you'll be so horrified by their aggressive circus playacting the only noise you'll hear is the rising thud of blood inside your head.
Zach is one week's work away from his Goa trance/ circus skills holiday in Thailand
3: Ah, so thats a chugger. In a perfect world I'd avoid these cretins like the plague. How does one go about this?
You can't. Chuggers are everywhere. They have perfected the art of harrassment and stalk the streets in packs of six or more covering every last channel of escape in all directions. Like demonic spirits they seem to be able to move rapidly and often a chugger who initially appears 50 yards away will suddenly materialise on your coat-tails, so close that you can smell the fetid reek of the organic muesli flakes lodged in his teeth. Avoiding eye contact is no good because breaking free from the manic gaze of one chugger throws you straight into the gaze of another.
4: But maybe chuggers have a point. Maybe we should give to charity?
Hmmm. This is a complicated but answerable concern. Because a type of behaviour is being employed to serve a cause, should it really be the case that if that cause is deserving then its okay to act unacceptably? I don't think so. But that is the underlying philosophy of chugging and as far as I'm concerned it's not on. Invading someone's private space in the manner that chuggers do is for some people just a nuisance, but for others a complete nightmare. A chugger is a chronically shy person's biggest fear made flesh. A walking, leering harbinger of anxiety and panic. In short a pest that can upset someone to the point of ruining their day. Indeed, it is the shy and easily manipulated that chuggers prey on. A strongminded person has no problem with telling a chugger to shove it, but it is the shy person who can't say no and feels riddled with guilt for trying to escape their wiles. Shy people dither, hesitate and this is the moment that the chuggers opening salvo notches up a gear for the hard sell, where they get even more in your way, sometimes even directly blocking your route. This is no way to get people to donate to charity. In fact, I ultimately predict it will give charities such bad publicity that their good works will be tainted in the public's consciousness. To be honest, nowadays, every time I hear the word oxfam I shudder and think of a particularly malignant specimen of a chugger that swoops on you near eason's on O'Connell St.
5: What else is bad about chuggers?
Okay this is petty and personal but that's what I'm all about. I can't shake the thought that they're all doing it to save up for backpacking holidays in thailand where they can juggle on beaches and take photos of cute but starving children on 600quid digital cameras. PLUS they're nearly all fuckin Australians so they talk in that annoying phoney beach bum patter that ends every sentence on a musical note. PLUS, I know they can all probably juggle or do whatever useless shit people who waste their time are good at. PLUS, they think you're so sad that you might actually be attracted to them rather than repulsed, so girl chuggers approach men and vice versa. GRRR! I SAY CHUG OFF!!!