Trekking to the North Pole for Cancer Research



As I trudged through Canary Wharf’s stupidly oversized tube station this fine morning, I encountered several overly jolly people collecting money for a ‘trek to the North Pole for Cancer Research’. It was early in my day so I didn’t connect the dots.

Surely, they could not be going to the North Pole for cancer research, unless perhaps to ask Santa Claus the secret of his longevity. (It’s the mince pies, I’d wager.) Therefore, they must be going to the North Pole to raise money for cancer research.. and since it is also unlikely that noted philanthropist Father Christmas has funds to spare, I guess the trek is not self-funding.

It is not going to be cheap either. So is this the best way to raise money? You don’t need to be an economist or an oncologist to answer that. In fact, you’ll probably answer better if you weren’t an economist, when you’d probably think that if net of costs it raised cash then the outlay was worth it. I disagree. I am all for charity, but I dislike inefficiency and I hate the cold so this does not appeal to me. (Obviously, I’d never go myself, but even the thought of encouraging others to go makes me shiver.) I didn’t give them any money.

Instead, I was thinking of asking people to sponsor me to do absolutely nothing. But then I realised that one can do even better than that, and I am going to try and get sponsored to do cancer research. Just five pounds will buy me a rabbit.. another five pounds will buy a packet of cigarettes..


Customer: Worcester sauce please mate…
Shop Keeper: Sorry can’t, it’s off the shelves, cancer scare.
C: Oh right, uh Chinese Chicken Wings?
SK: Ah that’s the same mate, cancer scare
C: Hamburger Relish?
SK: Cancer scare
C: Sausage and Mash?
SK: Cancer scare
C: Cottage Pie?
SK: Aye, …no wait, cancer scare.
C: So they’re all off the shelves because of a cancer scare?
SK: Yup.
C: Jaysus, that’s mad, just give me a packet of fags then.
SK: No bother. £5.25 please.


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