I suppose they had to get here sooner or later, but already the time is well overdue for them to find something else to do, or move on.
Either would be good, both would be better.
The subject of such directness is the small group of annoying young men (and women) who are known as "windscreen washers" in polite company, "squeegee bandits" in less tolerant conversations and "annoying toerags" in a certain sports bar in Fitzroy where the patrons think telling the truth is still important.
No doubt Citizen Ross and his ilk will leap to the defence of these young chaps and chapesses: They are only trying to better themselves, without bludging off the state, and deserve our encouragement rather than condemnation.
I couldn't disagree more, so let's set the record straight right from the start: They are parasites endangering themselves and others.
Personally I wouldn't care too much about "themselves"; it's the "others" that I am concerned about. Allow me to set the scene for those of you fortunate enough to have never stopped at the Liardet-Courtenay streets intersection.
At peak times, when you least need it, a scruffily dressed young man will appear from nowhere, raise his washer in your direction, and it's up to you to say yes or no as to whether you want your windscreen washed, or not.
If you are in the "or not" club, you have the difficulty of trying to relay that message to the wannabe wiper in just a few seconds. Shaking your head with some feeling can sometimes not be enough in itself to signify "no", evidently.
Before you know it, the aforementioned scruffy young man, or woman, has launched themselves at your windscreen and started cleaning it. The "transaction" is completed by the scruff sticking his hand out, preferably through your open side window and into your car, stopping centimetres short of the side of your face. You are painfully aware that he has a significant extension of arm movement available to him, and your seat-belted head does not.
This is just one part of it. Consider the following incidents reported by motorists:
Not taking no for an answer, washing the windscreen and then abusing motorists for not paying.
Always pressing the pedestrian crossing lights to make the lights go red. Motorists then become captives.
They are abusive, sometimes smell of alcohol, and elderly people are being bullied. Others are merely intimidated.
A woman driver complained to police that a female washer pulled down her pants and mooned her. Since that was made public several male drivers have complained that she has not done it to them, despite them repeatedly going through the intersection.
Allegedly stealing soap from St Andrew's church.
Police charged two with fighting after a fracas left one of them with a broken nose.
By their own admission, earning more than a hundred bucks a day is quite possible. So let's have a look at their legal obligations shall we? Those annoying compliance costs that every business in the country is forced to pay, GST, income tax, licence fees etc.
On top of that is the possibility that some of these toerags are on the dole, or receiving a benefit of some sort. That means fraud may be taking place.
Why on earth would we want to encourage them?
One of the problems we have in society in 2012 is that there exists a whole bunch of cheats who don't pay their own way and have no interest in following the rules. You see them parking in the car parks for the disabled outside the supermarkets and The Warehouse, etc. They are mostly fit young men and women driving bombs. They don't care.
You see them in the courts, having ripped off Winz, claiming benefits they weren't entitled to, and as they see it, their only crime was getting busted, apart from the lawyer-suggested remorse, of course.
Most of us follow the rules, pay our way and help others. Others just take and take, ignore the rules then expect us to pay for them when things go wrong. We shouldn't be tolerating, let alone encouraging, these toerags.
Maybe they'd be better off shifting to Belarus, where they would be in good company with Nadzeya Ostapchuk. Cheating is like being pregnant; you are, or you're not. There's no degree.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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