Friday, 27 September 2013

If it's not fun, don't do it

District Governors - those people way, way up the hierarchy in Lions Clubs - often, maybe even usually, adopt a motto for their gubernatorial year.  Long ago - or so it seems now - we had a DG here in south-east England who adopted as his motto the phrase I have used for the title of this piece.  It was brought to mind by Skip's post script.

I have been surprised time and time again when something or other that we are doing as a Lions Club turns out to be more fun or, at least, less boring than had been expected.  Granted, there is a certain camaraderie involved, but even so, there is pleasure or amusement to be gained from many apparently tedious occupations.  Selling carnival programmes door to door is a typical example.  We don't actually hold our carnival any longer for a number of reasons I don't need to go into, but when we did, we spent weeks beforehand selling those programmes around the streets.  It helped, I suppose, that we always, always met up in a pub before hitting the streets for a couple of hours, after which we needed refreshment so it was back to the pub.  The thought of spending two hours travelling home from work and then having to rush dinner so as to get out selling was really dispiriting, but once out there, things always seemed better than expected.  And, as I say, there was nearly always a laugh.  On one occasion, it was me that provided the laugh.

There were five of us out that evening and for some reason, the other four had been having a particularly lean time whereas I had sold quite a few programmes.  I told the others my trick of the trade:  hold the programme out to the householder so they automatically take hold of it and nod your head as you ask them to support Brighton Lions Club by buying a carnival programme.  As they are already holding the programme you are halfway there.  Nodding your head makes the householder subconsciously nod his head, so hey presto! you've got a sale.

"Watch me," I said.  "I'll demonstrate."

The others stood at the gate as i walked up the path and knocked on the door.  A little old lady answered and I went into my routine.

"Thank you, dear," she said - and shut the door in my face, keeping the programme.

Then there is the warm glow that sometimes comes.

For many years, our club has organised a day out in the summer for disadvantaged children, a local zoo being our regular destination.  In the way back, the children were accompanied only by Lions and their other halves and on one occasion my wife was sitting next to a girl aged about 10 or 11 on the coach during the journey home.  The girl whispered to my wife, "That was a lovely day.  It's the first holiday I have ever had."

(Cue violins.)


A drinks vending machine I spotted in Nara, Japan.

1 comment:

Buck said...

(Cue violins.)