I have discovered a previously unknown level of hell. It does not appear in any religious text or scroll but that does not make it any less real. It just so happens to occupy a small area of Amsterdam. If you have ever walked along the Leidsestraat you might know it well. It only takes up a small 50 x 200 meter patch of land but it is filled with such torturous evil that no innocent person should know.
I am talking about the area outside my office that seems to contain every survey taker, subscription seller and (dare I say it) charity collector that hell rejected.
Everyday I have to walk through this swarm of aggressive clipboard holders as I try to escape to the nearest tram stop or collect lunch supplies from the local supermarket. Everyday they try to stop me and ask the same question.
“Can I ask you a question?”
It’s enough to drive anyone insane. I’ve long learned that simply telling them I don’t speak Dutch does not do any good either. However, I have finally come up with a solution, a new strategy. When they next ask me again I am going to come up with a completely random reply to what that question could have been. I will then be able to make my get away while they try to work out what just happened.
I have already come up with several answers for the next time they ask, “Can I ask you a question?”
– “The answer you seek is; 42.”
– “Yes, it’s true. I really did shoot a man in Rio just to watch him die.”
– “Sure. Picard was a much better captain but Kirk was a much better singer.”
– “No, Sorry. It would never work between us baby.” (This is double confusing for the clipboard holder if they are also a guy)
– “No. I will not write you into my will.”
– “Ok. You can have an autograph but I was hoping no one would recognize me.”
– “No. I’m not going to help you cheat on your test. Answer the questions yourself.”
– “No. My lawyer has advised me not to answer any questions.”