Said the spider to the fly

So, I’m pretty gullible really. Easily flattered, I’m something of a pushover at times. Say a few kind words and the blinkers emerge to block out any sensible thought. Let me explain.

I went to a big expo at a large exhibition hall in London a few weeks ago. As I left, I was walking in determined fashion, thinking about getting back to the office and all that awaited me there. A young guy with a clipboard approached me. Survey radar failed me, and I stopped in my tracks.

He greeted me with a smile, asked me if I’d been at the expo and I duly answered him.

“Where does that accent come from … South Africa?” he lamely ventured.

I nodded and he proceeded with his spiel, everything moving ahead like clockwork for him.

“I love your accent, it’s just amazing. It’s one of my favourite accents … I could listen to you talking forever,” he gushed.

In the midst of my “Oh really?” responses, he continued to tell me just how wonderful my accent was. I was totally oblivious to the “reeling-me-in” motion he must have been gesturing in his mind.

He then went in for the clincher.

“We’re doing this amazing giveaway. We just need your mobile number; we don’t need your email address because we won’t email you, but if you give me your number you can win a makeover in a photographic studio, worth hundreds of pounds and it’ll cost you absolutely nothing. Your mobile number is?”

And I proceeded to give him my mobile number. Like a lamb to the slaughter. He wrote down my number, gave me my “winning” ticket and wished me everything of the best.

I walked away, wondering to myself why on earth I just entered a competition in which I had zero interest, why I gave him my number and why was I so stupid. Why didn’t I switch a few of the digits around on my mobile number, or better still, just say I wasn’t interested in being part of their promotion. What was I thinking? I did get the call a few weeks later, and managed to say that I was not at all interested in a studio makeover, thank you very much, but I am sure I haven’t heard the last of them yet.

It reminded me of a plot my older son hatched when he was about four years old. It was the foolproof method to catch a robber. He told us that we needed to get a banana, tie it to a piece of string and then hang the string from the curtain rail in our lounge. We then needed to write a note that read, “Robber, eat this banana” and clip the note to the curtain next to the banana. We would then hide behind the curtain and wait for the robber to come and eat the banana, and then we could jump out from behind the curtain and catch him.

It was such a sweet and simple, yet – as I thought – flawed plan. My experience of a few weeks ago makes me realise we could just have caught Mr Robber in that fashion. If only I didn’t like bananas so much …

Sunshine signing off for today!


36 thoughts on “Said the spider to the fly

  1. So nice to hear from you again Sunshine.

    I would have been just as easy to get along with as you were.

    I try to be polite, kind and the next thing you know they got you just where they want you.

  2. Don’t beat yourself up over this, Sunshine — we’ve all fallen for smooth talkers! Just be more careful in the future because you never know where the “spider” lurks!

  3. I fall for it EVERY time. Probably why I have such a full SPAM folder on my e-mail and get text messages regarding specials for this pizza place or that magic diet pill. It only takes a compliment on my hair or even my kid and I am hooked!

    1. Me too, Tori. Maybe not EVERY time; there will be one time in a hundred when I don’t fall for it, and then I feel quite smug and look around to see if anyone saw how streetsmart I was!

  4. Hiya – Just reading your blog for the second time and wanted to comment that I love your approach to finding sunshine in everything! I think we are all suckers and love to be complimented. At least you’re not cynical and in this case you might get a free photo shoot?

  5. my husband and I have a joke…

    if it wasn’t for my husband in my life, I’d let every serial killer in the door.

    if it wasn’t for me in my husband’s life, he’d be the sniper in the window…


    I fall for these things, too…they must have good radar for “our kind”–they never try things like this on my husband…


    1. That’s so funny, jane – you protect the world from each other! I like that – that’s why you were meant to be together, right? And you’re right about good radar for “our kind” – are we easy to spot, do you think?

  6. Oh, Sunshine, I’ve been duped into that kind of charmer tactic too. I have now learned to change the last digit of my phone number. I feel a little bad for the person getting the calls, but at least it’s not me.

    Your son’s plan for catching a robber is priceless. It wouldn’t work for me though, because I love bananas too!

    ♥ Diane

    1. Hi Diane – so glad you’re a fellow dupee, but it sounds like you’re a step ahead of me in switching your phone number digits. Next time … I’ll do it next time, for sure!

  7. The banana trick is so precious. Think very differently when we kids…. as adults we are always trying to find the big master plan, and then often forget that somethings can be done simply.
    Just catching up on posts now.

    1. Hi Judith – thanks for coming by and for leaving a comment. Good idea to go and buy a banana – you never know when you might need to protect your home from a banana-loving robber! 🙂
      Please make yourself at home here – good to meet you!

  8. LOL I once fell for some very charming students who were “doing a survey”! Very innocently they asked for my cellphone number at the end, so that I could be entered into a competition (a “reward” for taking the time to answer their questions!). And I gave it to them! Now I get text messages from some of the local businesses with special offers and notices of impending sales etc. Sometimes useful, many times not . . . So one learns.

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