The battle of walking down Sproul

Mary Zheng/File
Mary Zheng/File

The flyer promoters

“Crap — it’s that time of year again,” you tell yourself. You’ve just been assigned to table for your club on campus. Standing on Sproul Plaza passing out flyers to the power-walking students during your break does not constitute a good time, but you have to, for the sake of promotion. “Why do we even need flyers anymore with the invention of the Internet?” you think to yourself as you fake smile at the people walking past you.

You search across the swarm of people, looking for the nicest, least intimidating person to give your flyer to. There she is! You focus on her, waiting for the right moment to hand her your flyer. Three … two … one … now! You hold out your flyer, repeating the “Are you interested in (insert relevant club here)?” question.

She shuffles past you, not even making eye contact. “How rude!” you think, then remember you do the same thing. You sigh disappointedly and return to looking into the crowd of people.

This time, you search for someone less shy. Tall and confident is your mantra. As you scan the crowd, you find your next target. He walks near you, and you hold out your flyer while asking the same question as before. “Sure,” he says and takes the flyer.

He walks past you, and you glance back at him, warmth and confidence in your heart. Looking at him as a proud mama bird would look at her chick, you think, “I can do this.”

You’re just about to turn over a new leaf and try even harder in your role as flyer promoter when you see the guy throw your flyer into the trash can. “My baby,” you cry as you watch your flyer disappear into the abyss.

The flyer avoiders

“Please don’t look at me, please don’t look at me, please don’t look at me,” you pray as you walk down Sproul. “Crap! She’s looking at me.” You try to walk around her, but she cuts you off halfway.

“Hi, are you interested in (insert relevant club here)?” she asks while holding out a colored flyer. “Sure,” you defeatedly whimper, taking the flyer.

You keep on walking, trying to avoid any other person with a flyer in his or her hand. You walk over to the trash can and crumple up the little square. As the flyer reaches the bottom of the trash can, you feel a tang of guilt.

You didn’t even read the flyer. What did it say? Something about blood donation … or was it about a business club? Maybe a blood-donating business club? You shake your head. “Next time,” you tell yourself. “Next time.”

You keep walking, grateful for Berkeley time, or else you would be late to your own club meeting. You arrive (barely) on time and sit down.

“Hey, everyone,” your club president starts. “It’s that time of the year again — we’re assigning you to hand out flyers.”

“Oh no,” you think. “It’s karma.”

Contact Hopi Hernandez at [email protected].