They look just like you and me. They could be your neighbour - your sister - your dog. They come at you when you least expect it and then also when you expect it and then also every other time. You might take a quiet back street but they will find you and they will kill you - sorry - talk to you. They will talk to you.
They could be under your bed right now.
Don’t misunderstand me; ticket sellers are good people. More than half of workers here for the season are promoting and the fact of it is they haven’t any choice. They need to get enough commission so they can buy alcohol, contraceptives and Burger King and they generally go about it in the friendliest manner possible. The problem is as the island population swells in summer like a bad mosquito bite, so too do the numbers of promoters burgeon to a parasitic level. It’s your classic Jurassic Park 2 The Lost World situation; little girl sees cute baby dinosaur and feeds it bread. Second baby dinosaur comes along and is also cute. Then more and more appear out of the jungle and bound towards the girl and all of a sudden they’re a menacing pack pecking at her flesh and she’s terrified – especially if she’s hung-over. The parallels are clear.
There are many ways to get rid of the ticket sellers and almost none of them work. One can take the conventional option of smiling, refusing and thanking them for the offer (if one is as interesting as a train timetable) or do the following...
Grab them around the waist and kiss them passionately. They’ll report you for harassment and issue a restraining order so you’re not allowed within 10 metres of them (thereby rendering them 10 metres clear of their own accord – fools)! There is a small chance they’ll be up for it in which case you should probably just follow through with whatever happens – I mean it’s Ibeefa, innit.
If this seems to you a slightly unrealistic course of events, then a deep tan is your most effective defence. I lay on the beach the other day next to a couple of Snow Whites and listened as they were pitched by promoter after promoter, their glowing moontans making them stick out like juicy steaks to the ravenous predators. The deeper your tan the more likely you are to be taken for a worker, and then recognized as poor and unyielding.
The situation has simply gone too far. I pity the self-loathing unsuccessful ticket sellers and I have professional respect for the bloodthirsty successful ones but I still wish they would all leave my life very quickly and by any means possible. A slightly incendiary position, perhaps, but something drastic needs to happen soon and if it has to involve a certain level of chloroform so be it.
The irony of it is that despite my best efforts my savings are stubbornly hemorrhaging down the drain and in a month or so I will probably have to join the amiable vultures in scavenging for my dinner around large groups of sunburnt holidaymakers. I can hear the vultures calling... They are coming for me…
…“ONE OF US. ONE OF US!”
I could be under your bed right now.
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Remember that secret money-belt your parents made you take the first time you went travelling?