As freebie paper mongers go, the one who operates at Vauxhall Cross is not too bad. He’s surprisingly happy and smiley given his trade, greets his regulars (i.e. the serial refusers like me) with a grin of recognition, doesn’t stand in anyone’s way, and doesn’t persist when people say no. He also, crucially, has a stash of empty rubbish bags which he fills up with his discarded wares, so the entrance to the station doesn’t too closely resemble an explosion in a newspaper factory by the end of the evening. But even so, the paper in question is a dreadful rag and far too often I get to my bike and find my rear rack has a copy of it neatly placed upon it*. This evening, rather than toss it over my shoulder as I normally do, I had a better idea. I cycled up to the junction where he works, caught his attention, and shoved the paper into his hand.
For my next trick, I’ll be hitting up some chuggers for cash.
*What goes through people’s mind when they do this? ‘Oh, I’ll just leave it here so the cyclist can read it on their way home’? WTF?