Charities and black cabs

Two things from last night.

I was with some friends enjoying some lager in Covent garden. We were in the pub until last orders. We were all saying our goodbyes standing outside the pub and a fellow walked into our midst. He had one of those plastic goblets thingys for gathering change and he did have photo id. He was collecting money for a Leukemia charity. Someone with us did give him some money; I was a bit put off by the way he just barged in amongst our conversation and actually he had a something of a distressed look about him almost desperate this gave me some pause. I did wonder how does this work; collecting money for a charity at 11:30 at night? What sort of guidelines and regulations might there be on this? I really don’t know. Can one be collecting money for charity at anytime of night? I do give money to charities; I happen to do it usually via direct debit.

It was a very pleasant night after the sprinkling of rain earlier in the evening; the air was definitely bit fresher. We talked about walking from Covent Garden to Kensington; we started off on our on our trek; there was three of us now; I started to feel really knackered. It had been a long day and we ended up hopping into a black cab near Trafalgar square. It was a democratic vote of 2 to 1 to get a cab.

The cab had a television in it. I had seen this once before in black cab but I did not try it; this time the TV screen was on already as we entered the cab; there is a flat screen in the panel of the passenger section of the cab behind the driver. There is a volume and channel control on the left and right side by the side windows. We started watching some CNBC but that was far to boring at this time of night; we then opted to watch some BBC classic comedy. There was a loop of “Only Fools and Horses” and then a Monty Python sketch; the one about village idiots. We talked more about the concept of TV in cab then watching it. There was a quite as bit of advertising for buying BBC DVD’s and branding going on in the segments.

Technology is eveywhere! Is this the future in action?


1 Comment so far

  1. Daneeta Loretta Saft (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    Being a resident of CG and having seen all sorts of charity scams (apologies to the legit ones), I would say that it was a bit suspect to be collecting so late at night. Perhaps this is the idea of some bright spark in the charity org annual meeting: “Let’s catch the punters when they are imbibed and more likely to give.” I agree with you. If you are going to give to charity, give at the office. If you want a more personal approach, give a homeless person some socks and a carton of orange juice.

    As for the TV in cabs, yes, technology is all around us and will increase. I’m kind of excited about this as I was promised as a child a life like the Jetsons. But, then I start to obsess about the environment and global warming and wonder if all of this technology is actually being put to the best use. Like, I know we have the technology to save the planet, but we are using it instead to advertise BBC DVDs. Hmmmmm.

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