Will you accept a straw from strangers?

Will you accept a straw from strangers? - A picture of many straws.
Singapore
April 30, 2007 1:22pm CST
The day was hot, but that was not what bothered me. I was walking from the train station to a shopping mall, and I was bombarded by noises from both the traffic and construction sites along the way. The noise volume was so high that I could not even hear the music from my earphones. 10 more metres. 5 more. There. I stepped into the cool comfort of the mall. Feels very good. I took a few steps forward and suddenly, a girl dashed out from behind me, from my left side, to block my path. She wasn't exactly fast, but she covered the distance in many hurried steps. It conveyed a definite sense of urgency. I stopped. I had to stop, or I would have knocked onto her. I looked at her and saw that she was middle-aged, wearing office attire and donning a smile. So I asked her, "Do I know you?" She stuck out both hands and tried to shove something at me. What a "surprise". It turned out to be a handful of drinking straws. She said, "For shoppers". Despite her smile, I responded too quickly and too automatically. "Not interested, thanks". And I continued my walk. With hindsight, why would I want those straws anyway? They were not sealed in packets so who knows how dirty they might have got despite the clean look. And it just strikes me as weird. Why on earth is this shopping mall giving out straws to shoppers? Surely they can afford something more expensive and practical? :P So if you were me, what would you do if you were "confronted" by this lady under such strange circumstance? FYI, on my way out, I was met by another of her colleagues who tried to shove me some straws too. Do you accept strange things from strangers in public? Or will you actively approach them if you see them giving out things? Do share your thoughts. ;-)
36 people like this
78 responses
@liranlgo (5748)
• Israel
30 Apr 07
Well i would have been more polite to her. Maybe she was a strange lady, but she meant well. But as to answer your question, NO. I would not take a straw or straws from her. Maybe if she would have offered me chocolate i would have taken it. LOL. I have a chocolate addiction, and you might guess my parents did not have any luck with me on the part that says: 'Do not take candy from strangers'. They still do not seem to understand how nobody kidnapped me. LOl. But straws. no. why should i? they are not sealed, they are not clean, every Israeli would think that maybe there was an explosive liquid in them. (what can we do, that is where we grow in..security problems and stuff), and i do not really like straws. Maybe my mother would take them, as you know from my response to another post you opened about straws, she loves them. Lol.
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
But liran, I did say "thanks"! *pout* Ah ha! Now I know your weak points. Chocolates. HAHAHA :P
7 people like this
@liranlgo (5748)
• Israel
30 Apr 07
oooops. i knew i did a mistake here..;)
4 people like this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
1 May 07
it just occurred to me, was she hoping that you would accept them and then she would ask you for a donation? it would have given me the creeps for sure.
6 people like this
30 Apr 07
At the weekend I took some friends to a huge shopping mall in the centre of the city, the weather was hot and sunny and there were crowds of people out shopping and enjoying the good weather. There were also crowds of street traders about, and a lot of people giving out all kinds of "freebies" an "samples" of various things. Bearing in mind the weather was hot, I had to wonder the wisdom of people handing around trays of cold meats on sticks, small pieces of various assorted sausages and cheeses. Yuck! However, on the upside, there were also small glasses of assorted drinks, most of them in ice boxes, and these we happily accepted :-)
10 people like this
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
What's wrong with cold meats on sticks on a hot day?
5 people like this
1 May 07
The cold meats don't stay cold for very long, and the flies were having a feast on some of the plates :-(
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
Oh yucky. Now I know why. Thanks. :P
3 people like this
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
30 Apr 07
Oh baby, there must be something about you that the middle-aged woman likes to give you those straws. I have never encountered this kind of strange offering though. The usual things I saw are beauty products to try, credit cards and even insurance. Maybe, they have a contest there and who gave out the most numbers of straw will win a big amount of money, LOL!
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
To be honest, this is the first time I have seen a mall giving out straws too. So ridiculous! :P
8 people like this
• United States
30 Apr 07
I, like you would not have accepted the straws, you never know how sanity they are and the last thing I need is another infection in my system. Giving out straws is a strange give away for a mall, where they have a drinking convention there?
9 people like this
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
I don't think so lol. It would have been in the news if so. :P
6 people like this
@gifana (4836)
• Portugal
30 Apr 07
Straws - image of a glass full of straws
This is certainly something that one would not encounter every day. Even using one's widest imagination a logical reason for the action would be extremely difficult to come by. Perhaps it was merely a promotional idea by someone and that if one accepted a straw he would win a prize of some sort. Were this on my mind at the time of the offer I might accept it....as long as the person offering it was at least clean appearing....whether I used the straw or threw it away at a later moment is immaterial.
7 people like this
• United States
1 May 07
No, not really. I just wouldn't want to. Reason being is that if I wanted to buy straws, I would just go into the mall myself and buy them. You don't know if she's a worker or not, or if there's something bad in those straws. (Note that I'm not the type to buy something from someone who walks up to me.)
6 people like this
• Singapore
2 May 07
Hohoho, now I know your little secret! You love spanking! :P But yes, you are very free to do what you want on my thread. Please treat this thread as yours. If you prefer, you may comment on all the responses too. Instead of feeling angry and upset, I would be more pleased than you can imagine. :PP
1 person likes this
@SpitFire179 (2536)
• Canada
30 Apr 07
Personally i have to say when it comes to people i don't know, i'm quite un trusting, and even more inquisitive. If someone came at me with straws, i would first ask why the heck they were giving out straws, and not something else, why they weren't packaged, and why they didn't just set up a stand or something for those who want it rather than jumping in others faces. I wouldn't be able to help but think what could be in those straws, or if they were previously used for something else, i don't care if i could wash them or sterilize them, i just couldn't help but wonder or think of the possibilities, which would make me in the end say no, and tell them they should think before jumping out at someone as anything can happen now in this world, get them thinking a little and then be on my way.
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
Haha, with your questions, you will make that poor girl cry! :P
5 people like this
• United States
30 Apr 07
I'm with SpitFire179! What the heck?! Drinking Straws??? It's not like you can use them while you're shopping. While working in the city there were often giveaways at the entrance to Penn Station. Those kids had a t-shirt displaying what they were marketing, and it was usually gum. Now that, I took. The gum was ealed and shrink-wrapped, as they would be sold in the supermarket- reasonably safe. I was able to identify who and why they were giving them out too - on the gum's website. It was a new flavor of a fairly well known brand.
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
30 Apr 07
The idea of giving somebody "straws" as they enter a mall makes no sense to me.....No, I would have reacted in much the same manner as you did. I frequently go our of my way to not get caught up in the "free" stuff that they give out at the malls or at the grocery stores.... What a strange tale, my friend.
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
That's exactly what happened this afternoon to me. I didn't even exaggerate a wee bit. :P I suspect that the logo of the mall might have been printed on the straw. I don't know since I didn't take a closer look.
6 people like this
• United States
30 Apr 07
I would take a straw. I would ask for more even. Just to mess with her. I'd act all excited about it too. I mean, you know that lady has to be thinking, why the hell are my employers paying me to hand out straws. Because that is pretty weird.
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
HAHAHA. What a nasty pirate you are! :P
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (115096)
• United States
2 May 07
You must be my nephew, hiding here in disguise. He also told the Army recruiter that called to recruit my daughter Sam that he did not want to join the army, his real goal was to rule the world. The Army recruiter told him that was okay, they could help.Welcome to myLot.
3 people like this
• Singapore
2 May 07
Pirate, did you get into the wrong garden by mistake? Or are all those flowers yours?
2 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
1 May 07
Good morning Lordwarwizard, How very bizarre! An unwrapped straw is definitely not something that I would put in my mouth. One might as well suck on currency ... and we all know how filthy currency is. I generally do not partake of free samples. However, I will make a point of being polite as I refuse the sample. 'Cause the 'giver' is just doing their job. Of course, if the 'giver' startled me, as it sounds like she startled you, I might not be terribly polite, not deliberately but rather out of alarm. When one works with the public, certain rules should be obeyed; like not scaring the bejeebers out of the shopping public.
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
Hello Lady Luna, I trust you have a tough stomach to partake in currency as a delicacy. :P
3 people like this
• United States
1 May 07
Wait a minute... You mean, I should cease putting change given to me by cashiers into my mouth when I can't get to my wallet? No wonder I'm sick all the time! Filthy pennies..*sigh* *grin*
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
acuityplague, I guess if you don't swallow the change, it is fine. Licking it clean of its history of filth and bacteria would only help to strengthen your immune system. Say cheers. ;-)
4 people like this
@weemam (13377)
30 Apr 07
To be honest , I would have taken them and said thank you and smiled , and when I was out of her sight I would have put them in the nearest bin , we have elections coming soon in Scotland and every time we go out someone is handing us some kind of pamphlet or other for some other party , so !! I take them and say thank you and smile and guess what ( you got it ) I wait till I am out of site and bin them , I just don't like to hurt peoples feelings , But I would NEVER have used the straws , not under any circumstances xx
• Singapore
1 May 07
Oh if they were pamphlets, I would have taken them and thrown them away (unless they are interesting and I somehow had a reason to keep them). I used to reject them too - but after I realised that those people handling out the pamphlets couldn't call it a day till they finish giving them out, I decided to do them a favor. In fact, I sometimes walked closer for them so that they can pass them to me - so in a way, I am actively helping them. I feel irked though when sometimes, when I do that, they didn't give the pamphlets to me! I don't want to be like a beggar, you know? I just want to give them the chance of giving it to me. :P
4 people like this
@weemam (13377)
1 May 07
I knew you were a sweetie all along xxx
2 people like this
• Singapore
2 May 07
Wouldn't hurt to remind you lol. :P
1 person likes this
@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
30 Apr 07
Leave it to Wizzy to be accosted by a strange straw seductress !! Maybe she was in awe of your greatness and was standing by one of those straw holders, grabbed a few, and used that as an excuse to get closer and bask in your glory !! Seriously though, I probably would have said thanks, took the straws then dumped them later. That's what I usually do with the pushy "sample" people at stores. I actually had a woman follow me one asking "why" I did not want to take a free sample of dishwasher soap. I said, because lady, I don't HAVE a dishwasher. At the time, I didn't and thought it a waste to take it. Since then, I just accept said unwanted items and trash them later, or if they are decent things I may not personally want, I'll give them to someone that does want it.
3 people like this
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Strange straw seductress! What nice alliteration! Just have to give you a medal. :P
3 people like this
• United States
30 Apr 07
thanks, the metal almost makes my day better...almost :(
2 people like this
• United States
30 Apr 07
sorry it should read "medal" my eyes are still blurry
2 people like this
• Philippines
30 Apr 07
Hi lordwarwizard. Im a suspicious person and anything out of the blue that suddenly offers itself is highly suspect. But straws? I might be curious enough to accept them. See if maybe it's part of a "collect straws for cash" promo the mall is sponsoring. Or who knows a reality tv show of "people who accept anything in public". I tend to stay away from people who show the slightest interest in me in public. So no, I don't accept anything at all. Unless of course, I am in the mall and see that everyone is subject to such approaches and they're giving out something interesting like cash or cds ;) Thanks and good day!
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
Curious person, eh? :P
3 people like this
• Philippines
30 Apr 07
hmmmm, I don't know what you're thinking but I haven't been killed ... yet :)
2 people like this
@wonderful1 (2075)
• China
1 May 07
I often met such things in supermarkets. Now they often let the customers taste some food, such as milk ,coffee and biscuits. Sometimes i will have a taste when he opens a new package.If i like it ,I will buy a package or more.Usually ,I just glance it. Once, I taste a kind of milk, and I dont buy it because it is too sweet.Then the saleswoman looked very unhappy and asked why I didnt buy one after having a taste.I said it was too sweet for me.She suggested I could buy a package for my friend or my parents. I feel uncomfortable, because she standed in front of me.I thought if i didnt buy her product, I cant pass beside her."Let me go."I said angrily. Since then,I never taste products .
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
That would be wrong. There's no rule saying you have to buy the food just because you tried it.
1 person likes this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
1 May 07
I would have said thanks but no thanks. Who knows who handled those straws before they would have been given to you. Yuck. I have seen lots of things given away for free before but never straws. Well that is the straw that broke the camels back. lol.
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
I agree - straws are really "new". :P
3 people like this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
1 May 07
what a very odd promotional! I wonder if the mall authorities were aware of their being there accosting the shoppers in such a manner. NO! I would neither accept the straws nor would I hold them... who knows what matter of contaminant is on them! unwrapped? gracious, they could be laced with LSD or something. no thank you, get out of my face lady who likes to shove straws at people.
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
I suspect they were the mall staff.
2 people like this
• United States
1 May 07
That was really a very strange experience. I have been racking my pitiful brain to think of any business sales ploy that could induce giving anyone unhygienically unsealed drinking straws and I come up with zero. Unless you are giving us a trick discussion and you will let us know there is a good reason/answer??
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
No, my friend. That was really what happened. Complete truth. No exaggeration. I don't want why they are giving straws too. Not a trick discussion. :P
2 people like this
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
30 Apr 07
Yes it does make you feel refreshed when you step inside a mall with the air conditioning especially as it is extremely hot outside some days. I would not of accepted those straws either as like you say they were not covered with anything so you would be liable of picking up germs. When our people are trying to give away such items they do not hand them out in this manner. So it all depends on what they are promoting and giving away so accept it or not.
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
Yup. Aircon is really a Godsend on a hot day. :P
2 people like this
@rx4life (1932)
• United States
30 Apr 07
I will accept nothing but money from strangers!!!LOL...In all seriousness I also would have declined the straws...unpackaged and handled by who knows who? I wonder what the intent is? Anyway, I try to avoid the people that want to give me literature or samples of juice or spray me with cologne or get me to sign up for a "free" condo in Hawaii if I'll just fill out 3 pages of paperwork and let someone come to my house and present their "package" deals...urghhhh...When I go to the mall or out in public I will take care of myself..I will go and get anything I might need to enhance or complete my shopping experience...I don't need to be carrying around 100 different items that some company has decided to giveaway for the day..only to put it in the next trash can I find...If I were to see someone handing out something that I could actually use and want..I would then politely approach them and see if I could acquire the item...they need not come to me!!!..and what are they doing approaching the great LordWarWizard without an appointment...shameless...:)
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Really? HAHAHA :P Oh yea! Now that you mentioned it, they are so rude. Didn't even make an appointment with me. You are so hilarious. Just have to give you a medal too. :PP
2 people like this
• United States
30 Apr 07
That is really odd! I would have done the same thing that you did. I wouldnt' have any need for straws at all even if the were in wrappers. I just find this thing so weird. I think I would've actually been shocked enough to maybe ask them why.
3 people like this
• Singapore
30 Apr 07
Haha. If I was feeling friendly , I would have chatted with her. But hey, I am quite anti-social. *wink*
3 people like this
• United States
1 May 07
I would have taken the straws; sought out the rest of her "team", taken straws from them as well and built a structure out of them. I would have placed said stucture in the most prominent spot I could find in the center of the mall, and set out a sign asking for donations to my "art project". yaya..easy money! Every straw is an opportunity!
• Singapore
1 May 07
You are so innovative and cool! Do you take pictures of the art masterpieces you have made and exhibited over the years?
1 person likes this
• United States
2 May 07
Ha! I'm all kinds of innovative and cool! Oh yeah! I grin at you! I should take pictures. The next time I am attacked by a band of straw bearing old ladies in shiny black pumps, and build a wonderous structure from said materials, I shall indeed gain evidence of my efforts! I love typing in this little box, while my happy penquin dances to the tat tat tatting of my keys. It makes me happy.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
2 May 07
You are so adorable. I should save all your comments and not read them TILL I feel down. Then, I would take out all your comments and read them, and they will make me feel happy again. :P