What's the fucking point in helping anyone ever? Not only are you almost certainly rushing to the aid of a prick but every prick on this planet will get in your way of doing it. If you have any intention of ever helping anyone, do what everyone else does. You know, nothing. Being nice and thoughtful is one of the most stressful things you'll ever go through and I don't recommend it. I was going to write about this anyway today but now I'm fired up by what happened to my adorable friend Liz today. A man was getting off a train, she saw a wallet lying there, ran after him and gave it to him. SHE HELPED HIM. THE FUCKING IDIOT. He took the wallet, took the money from it, gave it back to her and ran off the train. Of course he did. Liz is a helper and helper's are shat on. I'm begging you, don't even think of lending a hand or sparing a thought or gooding a Samaritan. There should be a fucking government warning on helping. We had safe sex and stop smoking shoved down our throats and I don't think either of them will kill me. The stress of helping? That'll see me to the grave.
Last week I was walking into Lewisham Shopping Centre, where they film all of George A. Romero's films every single day, and I saw a wallet lying on the ground. My immediate reaction was BRILLIANT! FREE MONEY! but within a half second the guilt hit me. There is no way I can keep this. I must find the person and give it to them because I suffer from being nice. Like a dick. Even though I'm fully aware that the owner of this wallet will be a prick who will never appreciate what I've done, I'm going to get it to them anyway. Did Li Ping teach me nothing? It's not like I want to be thanked. I don't. I did William Orbit a big favour a couple of months ago by pointing him out to his driver at the airport thus stopping poor William from wandering around looking all lost. Did he thank me? NO. Did he even know I'd done it? NO. It was the good deed itself that was my reward. Mind you, that good deed was piss easy, this one was going to be a lot harder.
I looked in the wallet and saw that whoever had dropped it was now down over £200 cash. This had to get back to him. He had several Barclays bank cards so I reasoned that the best thing to do was to phone Barclays, let them know I've found the guy's wallet, they could phone him and he could come get his wallet. No cards would have to be cancelled and no money would be lost. I'm a fucking hero.
Barclays had other plans.
I was told by Arsebot 3000 on the other end of the phone that she couldn't phone him. It was against Barclays policy. All she could do was cancel his cards.
"But you don't need to cancel his cards. I'm at Lewisham Shopping Centre. He probably is too. Give him my number and he can call me and pick up the wallet".
"Yeah. We can't do that".
"We just can't. All we can do is cancel his cards".
"You can't just phone one of your own customers? You'd rather cancel cards then produce new ones?"
"That's all we can do. Do you have an account with Barclays?"
"No. What's that got to do with anything?"
"You haven't got an account so I can't phone him".
"WHAT? How? What?....SO. You COULD call him if I DID have an account?"
Let's just think about this for a second. Don't you think that we're all better off without this person? It doesn't matter if it's Barclays policy. That's irrelevant. She could still just call him and give him my number but she just couldn't get her head round the idea of helping. This is a person too many. Admit it, if you could just press a button and she would disappear forever that button would be worn out on seconds.
Fuck the woman from Barclays. I'm keeping this wallet. I tried to help and that bastard wanted none of it. That money is mine. I looked in the wallet and right in amongst his money and his cards was a photo. A photo of a woman. A really disapproving, disappointed woman. She knew what I was doing and she hated me for it. FINE. I'll hand it in. Handing it in is a good thing. Mummy always told me to hand things in if I found something and now I'm taking Mummy's advice. The Barclays phone call had exhausted me anyway. I was giving up the will to help. But that photograph gave me such a telling off that I knew I had to do this one more thing. I went to the information desk and handed the wallet to a security idiot.
He looked at the wallet like he couldn't quite work out what it was. He then gave the same look to me. "I found it just outside". He looked even more confused. "It was just lying on the ground". He looked even more confused. "I thought I'd hand it in". His face almost swallowed itself.
"Maybe you could make an announcement over the tannoy?" His face now looked like he vaguely remembered this from his training. He even started to smile. Like he remembered that helping was good. "I'll do it right away", he said and off he went.
That was nice. It took him a while but he finally got it. If he helped someone then they would feel better and he would feel good about himself. Off he went to the tannoy to save the day. I had done the best I could and now he was going to do the same. Good for him.
I was in Lewisham Shopping Centre for a further half hour. No tannoy announcement was made.
So that's it. If I find anything belonging to you, IT'S MINE. I'm not putting myself through that again. Never ever help anyone.
Except Shelter. Always help Shelter. I'll even make it easy for you. I'm organising a little gig on the 21st November at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square, London and it is full of the very best comedy shows from this year's Edinburgh Fringe. The line up includes Tony Law, Paul Sinha, The Penny Dreadfuls, Pappys, Robin Ince & me, Sara Pascoe, Nick Helm, Mat Ricardo, Storytellers, Alex Zane, An Hour of Telly Live, The Trap (even though they haven't done Edinburgh for years) and a lot more. Some we have to keep ssshh about. It's called All Day Edinburgh, starts 2pm and I'll let you know how to get tickets as soon I know. It's very exciting. You'll be helping Shelter but I won't tell anyone.