Screw you Carol Vorderman, and screw your detox. Shove it up your sorry wheat free behind.

There, that's better.

Last night, we (that is easterbunny and myself) were bad.

Well, very bad.

So, one cheeseburger, dos equis and glass of wine later, I'm feeling a much more well rounded human being. For lunch I will have a sandwich, containing meat, dairy, wheat and lots of fat. So there. And a coffee (to misquote Chandler from friends "Ah, dark mistress, once again I suckle at thy teat!").

I'm a quitter, but as it goes I'm fine with that. Life is supposed to be experienced, and eating is one of the experiences I enjoyed the most. The detox diet is bereft of joy and so I thumb my nose at it.

We still have the very green contents of the fridge to finish, and we've discovered some tasty, yet healthy options which we can add in to our diet, however I shall most certainly be having some ESB and a steak on Thursday at The Star. So there.

In other news, I just ranted at one of those annoying 'accost you in the street charity people' about the fact I don't like being accosted in the street. Does this make me a bad person? But stop, surely this is a fine opportunity for my first poll!

Am I evil incarnate?

Yes, you ill spirited fiend.
No, they are obviously cads and should leave us well alone.

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what kind of cretin hands over their bank details to a complete stranger in the street?

That would be me - I've signed up to two charities that way (ActionAid and ADD). I don't see any intrinsic problem in that, since it's the same information that's printed on all my cheques (account name, account number, sort code, bank address), so it's only the fact that I'm agreeing to a direct debit that actually costs me money. And my understanding is that you need to be a vaguely reputable company to be able to accept direct debits.

That said, I have made some gullible mistakes in the past, and I wasn't aware of the commission aspect to it. But I think that:

money that will only be used to pay even more chuggers

is a bit of an exaggeration - some of the money goes to the people with clipboards, but some also goes to the charity concerned. I think it's a similar principle to using an agency for recruitment or flat-hunting - they get the first X months of money, and then everything after that goes to the "real" recipient. So, in my case, if I cancelled the direct debits then I'd only be hurting the charity rather than the admin company.

I'm also not entirely sold on the term "chuggers" (i.e. "charity muggers"), as coined by the media. I'd say that Robin Hood would fall into that category - taking money off people at knife-point, then giving it away to the poor. But in a situation like this, there is no threat of violence, explicit or implied. I think that when you refer to a simple request as mugging, you dilute the effectiveness of the original meaning. ("Help, I've just been mugged!" "Who hasn't?")

In the interest of balance, I should say that I tend to find the collectors an irritation, particularly if I'm in a hurry to get somewhere. And it's annoying when you have several people from the same organisation spaced out at 10m intervals along a street, so that you have to have the same conversation over and over again.

I also had a chat to a girl who was collecting for Greenpeace on the Strand a year or so ago, which didn't go according to her plan. E.g. she was talking about GM foods, and I said that they didn't bother me. "But aren't you worried about pollution?" I looked at the 100-odd cars stationary on the road, with exhaust pipes belching fumes, and said that it wasn't my top priority. Then she started saying that we needed to protect the rainforests, otherwise we'd run out of oxygen. While I agree that the rainforests are important, that line of argument is false. I explained that photosynthesis requires light, and that at night the reaction goes into reverse (i.e. plants take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide), so it all cancels out. Given that I'd proved she didn't know what she was talking about, I didn't really feel that she was the best ambassador for their organisation...
I explained that photosynthesis requires light, and that at night the reaction goes into reverse (i.e. plants take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide), so it all cancels out.

Since things that aren't plants (eg people, cars, marsupials) take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide 24/7, you might hope for the sake of the long-term survival of the animal kingdom that the plants produce more oxygen than they consume...
I'm not an expert on this myself (my information basically comes from reading "The Science of Discworld"), but I think we mainly rely on algae in the sea to provide our oxygen. More specifically, it is false to say that "the rainforests are the lungs of the planet".