Tackling street preachers
How often do you challenge the rambling street preachers, the noisy ones who spend their days shouting threats of damnation at passers-by, or waving pamphlets around?
A gentleman at Brixton Tube station offers everyone eternal salvation as an alternative to the Victoria Line in the mornings. I haven’t asked him if I can still change for the Circle Line. A few years ago, a particularly unpleasant bunch of street preachers in Leeds declared that all passing shoppers were going to burn in hell, the women also being whores and jezabels. Some people understandably took exception to this and tried to embed small change in their crania at close range.
Throwing money is obviously not the way to go for most people – unless you really like what someone is saying, in which case you do it gently, with an underarm throw.
Reproduced here with permission of the author, a good example of taking on a street preacher with one of the best weapons at our disposal, humour:
I like to be offensive to the religious. They love it really.
Today at lunchtime one particular part of the Nutter Brigades was out in London, leafleting under a huge banner in the name of ‘Tradition, Family and Property’ (Property? Surely Bigotry and/or Homophobia should come next?)
Actually a quick bit of googling just now reveals that to be close to the mark. Tradition, Family, Property are, in the words of the Vatican “A right-wing Catholic group close to the late schismatic Bishop Marcel Lefebvre known as Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP). The group, founded in Brazil by the late Plinio Correa de Oliveira, a wealthy developer, promotes a harshly anti-Communist message using Fatima’s messages as a support to their views”.
So if even the Vatican thinks that you are right wing headcases, you must be ÃƒÂ¼bernutters of the highest order.
Anyway their leaflet was about ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ and was offering copies of a DVD called ‘Fatima, Past or Future’.
Sensing an opportunity here, I closed in for a cheap gag. That’s the sort of guy I am:
(Nutter looks worried, usual response is blank faces)
“Hello, thanks for the leaflet”
(Nutter looks relieved but still wary)
(I start the setup)
“I really like what you are doing, I don’t think we think enough about Fatima these days”
(Nutter beams and positively gushes the next bit)
“That’s brilliant, it’s important to keep this message alive!”
(That’s far enough Nutter, I’ve still got to buy my lunch, time for the cheap payoff)
“Me too. Mind you, I always preferred Tessa Sanderson myself.”
Thankyew, I’ll be here all week etc, etc.
Of course that lazy gag presumes you have a working knowledge of British female field athletes of the 1980s.