Shoo Petitioner, Don’t Bother Me

It’s that time of the year again when the weather’s nice and the days are warming up. All this sunshine means I can wear jean shorts. I love wearing jeans but I hate not being able to show off my calves. So any season that lets me wear jeans and show mad leg is a season I’m down with. The only drawback to it being sunny are all the people on campus asking me to sign their petitions, join their churches, or donate to their causes.

To clarify, I have nothing against these people personally. I’d bet my last gummy worm that they, much like this weather, are fantastic. And almost always what they’re representing is fantastic. A signature here to bring back Barack? Bet. Three bucks here to buy a kid in Zaire a fidget spinner? Down.

Nah, actually these people are a problem for me because I want to be a good person without having to do good things. You don’t think I want to plug my little Zairian homie with all the fidget spinners? Fidget spinners are fantastic. I’d give him every fidget spinner in the world, provided I didn’t have to pay for nothing.

The mature, honest thing to do would simply tell these people I’m not interested when they ask for a moment of my time. But doing so would shatter the conception I have of myself as a good person—it throws me into an existential crisis. This makes me uncomfortable. So like all things that make me uncomfortable, I avoid them. Or rather try and get them to not ask me anything.


  1. Full On Sprint Past Them: Crank that Usain Bolt, yo! How can Usain sign your petition if you can’t even catch him? It’s not possible.


  1. Freeze: Like in Jurassic Park when Jeff Goldblum was on the potty and the T-Rex came busted through but didn’t eat him because he was all froze… Wait, was that Jeff Goldblum? I’m pretty sure that was Jeff Goldblum. Anyways, how can they get you to sign a petition if you’ve turned into a statue?


  1. Be A Black Man— From my experience living in Portland, white people go out of their way to avoid unfamiliar male blacks. It’s pretty much the only benefit of racial bais I can think of. Note though: this tip only works if the petitioner himself isn’t a black male. Because one hearty, audible “Hey brotha!” from him and it’s a wrap—he’s got you.


  1. Carry clipboard of your own with a paper on it­—How can you someone ask you to sign they petition if they think you got your own petition? It’s not Kim Possible. It’s impossible.


  1. Shadow a stranger—This requires the sacrifice of an innocent bystander, but it’s rough in these streets. Duck down, wait for the petitioner to say ‘hi’ to your partner, and then make a hard left.


  1. Be her ex-boyfriend—Yeah that’s right Tiffany I saw you dodge me right in front of Smith. Oh what now, because buddy’s got good credit you don’t know me no more, right?


  1. Pulling out your phone and yelling out that you can’t stand cramps—technically this isn’t lying because who likes cramps?

Odds are nine out of ten of you that read this will have found my strategies not useful because you’re a decent person. But for you reading this, who stays grabbing two when the sign clearly says take one, I got you.

Lets all make it home safe.


This article originally appeared in the print edition of our June 2018, issue.

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