is it a bird? is it a plane? No …. it’s Super Fridge! On charities and fraud .

pow

So last week I was all butch driving tanks n shit. This week I’ve been off fighting crime.

Yes, I’ve been into the telephone box, taken off my glasses, slipped on my underpants over some rather dubious stockings, and donned a cape.

It all started, as crime capers do, on a dark, windy evening. There was a knock on the door – rather polite and timid, so I knew that it wasn’t my parents visiting. And, because the light in our landing is permanently on during the night, I’d closed the cover on my door’s peep hole so couldn;t see who had come a knocking. And it’s a stupid thing to do anyway, as that’s my Spyhole on Life, so that I can view my neighbours’ comings and goings.

So, unusually, I ended up opening the door. Facing me was a blonde twenty-something woman with a lanyard on her neck facing away from me, wearing a Children’s Society fleece, and with a clip board in front of her. She introduced herself politely and asked if I’d heard of the Children’s Society, to which I answered I had. She seemed taken aback and then asked if I knw what they did in this country, rather tan the things they were known for abroad.

So she gave me a lesson on how badly children were affected at the moment, with a higher than ever number living under the poverty line than ever.

‘Awful,” I said, which I meant. What a terrible state the country is in if more children than eever are living below the poverty line.

She didn’t suggest a revolution or the re-distribution of wealth to help the starving kiddies practically on my doorstep, but did inform me I could help the Children’s Society with their valuable work by signing a direct debit and donating just a few pence per week to assist.

Getting money out of me is hard at the best of times, let alone on my own doorstep while I’ve got a pie cooking in the oven. So I suggested she leave me a leaflet with more information for me to consider it. ‘We don’t give out leaflets,’ she said, ‘as people put them in the bin and it’s not a cost effective use of resources.’ Because we all want our charities to be ‘cost effective’. Not wasting their money on starving children, or leaflets. Or young women purporting to collect money on doorsteps. I noticed that she did have a leaflet on her clipboard, but she continued  ‘and anyway, the direct debit doesn’t start taking money from your account for a few weeks anyway So you can do your research.’

So I can do my research after signing over my bank account details.

I sniffed the air. Something was off, and my spidey senses were tingling. Still, she seemed nice enough, and it’s a thankless job going from door to door saving starving children.

‘Well, I’m not going to sign anything now. But good luck,’ I said, closing the door, as she shuffled a little, closed her clipboard, and started to go upstairs.

And then things started to irk me. I realised she hadn’t given any identity, that she hadn’t actually given me any reliable information. And, worse than any of that, I really disliked the way she framed it all in a UKIP type ‘helping our children at home not those starving foreign children’ way.

So I did what any right minded, full blooded crime fighting revolutionary does. I tutted to myself and tweeted.

And then got a very interesting tweet back from the charity she had been ‘collecting’ for, asking for further details, as they weren’t doing door to door collections.

I supplied them with a description, details of what had happened, and our general post code. They confirmed that this wasn’t an authorised collector, and suggested I contact the police.

Which is when I donned the cape and did the whole Crime Fighting telephone box business. Which also involved visiting my local police station in my car after work.

A very nice lady person spoke to me at reception.Not the young, handsome man in uniform I had been hoping for. She made a lot of cooing noises as I explained what had happened, and I suddenly felt I’d walked into an Alan Bennett play as she commented ‘Ooh, how awful’ and ‘so she’d gone to a lot of trouble then, dressing up in the charity’s fleece?’ In Bennett world, she might have added ‘And it’s so mild for the time of year, too.’

So she took my details, and informed me the police (probably the handsome young man in uniform I had hoped for) would be in contact if they needed to take down my particulars or for me to help them with their enquiries.

I’ve heard nothing since. My note, warning neighbours of the perils of Children’s Society Fraud Woman, has gone largely unnoticed.

But – every night I get out those underpants and stockings, and my cape, and take my glasses off. I’m waiting for you, dastardly criminals.

Super Fridge is watching over you all.

You can donate properly to the Children’s Society here. Unless it’s all an elaborate fraud. Think of the children, dear reader, think of the children.

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