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How To … Deal with Chuggers

Posted September 4, 2012 by Catherine in Ramp Lists

Chuggers – the bane of society. It has long been thought that golf is a good walk spoiled, but in reality that title goes to chuggers. They’re chirpy, enthusiastic and over-friendly. Sure you could just avoid eye-contact when they approach you, shake your head or snarl at them. You could even try to explain you haven’t got the time or money, that you give to other charities and even try and reason with them, questioning whether they donate their wages to their supposed cause. These approaches are not guaranteed to work though because chuggers are jerks. The team here at Ramp.ie have compiled a fail-safe list* of ways to get the next chugger you encounter off your back.

*Many chuggers were harmed/maimed/etc during this study.

→ The Best Defence is a Good Offence

Chuggers are trained in the art of attack. They wave their arms at unsuspecting pedestrians and talk loudly at them in an attempt to raid their pockets. They make a bit of a scene hoping to shame you into helping the needy. However they are not used to having the same tactics turned back on them:

‘I’m sorry, I can’t give you money because I give money to starving puppies. Oh you still want me to give you money anyway? Even though you’ll be taking money from the starving puppies? Oh my God, you hate puppies! Hey everyone!! This guy hates puppies! Look at him!! He also hates Jews and freedom of speech! He’s a puppy-hating Nazi.’

→ Sell To Them

They want your money? Well hey, you want theirs too! Every time they try to make a pitch, offer to sell them random objects off your person or from your bag. Alternatively make up your own charity and attempt to get a donation from them.

→ The ‘Why’ Approach

Every single child I have ever encountered has bested me with this and a truly successful person learns from their mistakes, even if it means swallowing their pride and adopting an opponent’s superior tactic. This cannot fail to work on chuggers:

‘Hey do you have a minute?’
‘So I can talk to you about *insert cause here*’
‘Because it’s really important.’
‘Because these people need help.’
‘Because they’re starving.’
‘Because they have no food.’
‘Because their crops failed and their country is at war.’

Eventually you’ll wear them down.

→ The Deal

When they stop you, cut them off with ‘Oh, you’re the guy I was supposed to meet’ and attempt to do deal really loudly in the middle of the street. Ask them what they have and how much it is and can you get some for your friend too. When they deny being a dealer, start winking at them dramatically and say ‘Oh yes, you’re ‘not’ the drug dealer person who sells drugs on this street who looks exactly like you’. This is extra effective when there are Gardaí around. The chances that the chugger is carrying something they shouldn’t be is fairly high (how else do they do that job?) so a trip to the local station will get them off your back for a bit.

→ The Counter-Offer

With this economic crisis, chances are that the Euro will become extinct and we’ll return to an old-fashioned system of bartering. This is an ideal time to practice the skills you will soon need, so engage in some healthy bartering with the chugger:

‘I won’t give you money, but I will give you some pocket lint and my first born. The general feeling of doing something nice isn’t enough in return though, so you’ll have to sweeten the deal with your daughter’s hand in marriage and/or a pony.’

→ Good Old-Fashioned Racism

Because you can’t argue with the ignorant.

‘Can I talk to you for a minute? I’m raising money for X?’
‘Oh yeah? Where will my money go?’
‘Well it will be used to buy supplies and help set up farms for people in Africa.’
‘So my money will be helping The Blacks then?’
‘Oh, I don’t really like black people. I hear they spread disease and eat their young. Plus they’re taking our jobs, so… *walk away*’

This approach can be modified to suit collections for other countries/continents and also for animals.

‘Sorry, I’m more of a cat person really. I’m kind of glad those dogs will be put down.’

→ The Assassin

This can be reserved for the chuggers who leap in front of you or try to make physical contact. Shout ‘You won’t take me alive!’ and begin flailing at them in an attempt to fight them off. Keep doing this until they back away. If you’re a theatrical sort, you can engage them in some dialogue:

‘So we finally meet.’
‘I knew they’d send someone after me and I’m glad it was you. I’m one of the most lethal spies in the game, so if an attempt is to be made on my life, I deserve it to be done by the best your side has to offer. I hear that’s you.’
‘Eh, what?’
‘I know you’ve been trailing me. Sure, I’ve never actually caught a proper look at you – you’re good, I’ll give you that – but I’ve seen you lurking in shadows.’
‘I, em…’
‘It’s a pity I’ll have to kill you. It’s a waste of talent. You could have come to our side and been a valuable asset. In fact, I will give you one last chance to do so.’
‘What the…?’
‘And you decline the offer once again. Very well. Let us battle.’

And then begin flailing at them manically until they back off.

→ The Homer Simpson Approach

When they approach you, start screaming. Just scream. Keeping it up until they back off.

Readers who have been positively affected by Catherine’s How To are reminded to send gift baskets and handsome escorts. Readers who have been adversely affected are reminded that this How To is for entertainment purposes only and any deployment of a Chugger army after reading is purely coincidental.

About the Author


Catherine often dreams about living in a tiny Parisian apartment and penning the next great novel of her generation until she remembers how impossible it is to get a decent cup of tea in France.

  • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

    I approve of all of these methods.

    They’re certainly better than going with your instinct and clobbering the fuckers to death with their own clipboards.

    • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

      Shoot, I knew I was forgetting a tip!

  • http://www.krank.ie/ Neil

    Fantastic tips!

  • http://twitter.com/Fearganainim Fearganainim

    There is this scene from Airplane, when Robert Stack is besieged at the airport by Hare Krishnas…

    • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

      I have only seen 10mins of Airplane. I didn’t like it.

      • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

        *stares in horror*

        • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

          *squirms uncomfortably*

      • http://twitter.com/beatingblog Karen Mulreid

        I’m sorry? Could you repeat that, cos it ALMOST sounded like you said you didn’t like the movie Airplane, aka The Best Movie of All Time Ever. But you obviously couldn’t have said that. It must be the acoustics in here. So you LOVED Airplane then, is it?

        • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

          I didn’t like Airplane and I favour Walkers C&O in crisp sandwiches – I have the potential to become your archenemy, don’t I?

          • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney


          • http://twitter.com/beatingblog Karen Mulreid

            Potential? POTENTIAL?! Oh you’re already there Missy. The pistols are drawn, it’s handbags at dawn, it’s *insert random cliche here*. I’m watching you. I. Am. Watching. You. *Backs away muttering*

          • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

            Oh it’s on! It’s on like Donkey Kong and King Kong and Kim Jong (il AND un…BOOM!).
            I’m pretty sure I have some other redeeming qualities…it doesn’t have to come to this, Karen! I respect you too much to go full-on ninja on yo ass so let’s not let it come to this!

          • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

            If only some sort of over-friendly chugger was here. He’d make you hug.

  • http://twitter.com/beatingblog Karen Mulreid

    Love this. So very true. Do you know, there’s part of me that doesn’t really mind the chuggers. They’re doing a job, I just say ‘No thanks’ loudly and keep walking. So in reality, it shouldn’t be that hard to ignore them. BUT, then there are the huggers. Or the ones with umbrellas who practically drag you ‘into my office’ or the ones who sing at you, or follow you down the street doing ‘hilarious’ mime. They ruin it for all chuggers. If it were only the ‘Excuse me, do you have a minute to talk about XX’ kind, then we could all live quite harmoniously together. But ther’es always a damn hugger, runing it for everyone.

    • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

      Yeah that’s true. I hate being approached by them at all, but if they accept your first no and let you go, then that’s grand. No hard feelings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.rooney2 Stephen Rooney

    I’m sold on the Assassin! Made me laugh out loud at work.

    My current method of avoiding them is to quickly spout out a load of Spanish and try to keep going without breaking my stride. As it happens the only thing I can say in Spanish is “My name is Stephen. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” so it’s especially effective if they speak the language themselves…

    • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

      That’s a pretty great phrase to have. I think I’m going to learn the same in a variety of languages – it can only make my life better.

      • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

        I can say “I have just had an accident and I don’t feel very well. I have fallen off my bike on the way to the beach. I can move my arm so I don’t think it’s broken.”

        • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

          All in Spanish? I’ve deduced that you had an accident on a bike on the way to the beach in Spain that resulted in arm pain and a trip to the hospital – just call me Jessica Fletcher :P

          All I can say in Spanish is “I like cake only with cheese” – it’s been surprisingly useful. :s

          • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

            Yeah! Five years of Spanish and a Leaving Cert honour and all I can do is complain that I banjaxed my arm falling off my bike. Oh, and how to order two beers and a ham sandwich.

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.rooney2 Stephen Rooney

        It’s the only phrase you need, really!

  • infodox

    LOVE this article! So many things to try…
    I have found the best way to deal with them (the streets of Galway are bloody infested with them) is to say “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!” while walking away very quickly. That is reserved for the annoying ones, and it leads to them being unable to process the “wtf? no money?” thing…

  • Gyppo

    Someone has just introduced me to your website. The suggestions for dealing with chuggers made me smile. I have two favourites of my my own.

    1) I used to play the Evil Black Knight in a medieval re-enactment show. Even after all these years I can flick a mental switch and ‘project’ evil like a laser. Sometimes they visibly shrivel like ants being burnt with a magnifying glass.

    2) I answer then with gibberish Romanes – Romany language – which nearly always throws them. If they look like Rom I use bad French.

    But the death stare usually cuts them off in mid introduction ;-)


  • Goober the crud nut

    My tactic – “HEEEEELLLPPP THIS GUY WANTS TO TAKE MY MONEY, HELP!” as loud as you can.
    Failing that make up a gibberish language that no one can understand.

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