The best piece of baiting I ever did... I was in High Wycombe a number of months back and a squadron of chuggers from Friends of the Earth were in evidence. It was too good to resist; yes, for the record I am a master baiter. If you think this is offensive, you're not cool, and to be fair, some of these greenies kinda bring it upon themselves with their endless caterwauling... it's like having the Jehovah's Witnesses turn up on unday morning when you're enjoying a nice lie in and telling you that the world's going to end next Tuesday unless everyone repents and leaves behind their sinful ways...

But I digress.

Her: "Hullo, you look like a nice person... why not come over and chat?"

Me: "If you insist."

Her: "So, what do you know about Friends of the Earth then?"

Me: "Lots of things, to be fair. I am very committed to the environmental movement myself, as it happens, and, unlike a lot of, shall we say, fair-weather greenies, I try to practice what I preach as well."

Her: "Excellent!" *offers me an impressed smile*

Me: "Well, of course. It's no good just giving a bit of money to green pressure groups every now and then because it makes you an ethically aware person. You have to do more than just throw money at it. You've got to do your part outside of the financial sphere as well, so to speak. The planet belongs to all of us, and all of us benefit by thinking more closely about how everything - EVERYTHING - we do impacts on this fragile blue marble we call Earth. Often more catastrophically than you might think."

Her: "This is exactly what Friends of the Earth have been saying for years. I won't waste time preaching to the converted then, but if people only knew what a mess they're making of the planet..."

Me: "Mm. Exactly. I mean, I go the extra mile to ensure that I'm treading as lightly as possible on the biosphere. I only go places I can walk to or cycle, and even then I don't exert myself too much and take my time. Do you know how ecologically irresponsible exerting yourself is?"

Her: "I can't say I do."

Me: "Very."

Her: "Really?"

Me: "Yes. Because when you exert yourself, you breathe more heavily and you know what happens when you breathe out? Carbon dioxide. That's what. If everyone just slowed down a bit, we'd not be in the mess we're in today, I assure you."

Her: "Of course. So let me tell you a bit about what I'm doing today. I'm - "

Me: "Raising money? Well, I'll get to that in a bit but first humour me a bit more. It's not very often I get to meet someone as environmentally concerned as I am. Most people today? Philistines to a man. They think that just because I'm worried about the heinous crimes we, as a species, are committing against mother Nature, I'm some sort of oddball. I've even been called a hippie for crying out loud, and that's just not on. I'm no hippie! I've never touched pot in my life? I mean, are these people aware of the endless weed miles as it comes in vans - VANS, powered by PETROL - from North Africa? Of the fact that the chemicals in marijuana smoke are scientifically proven to be 57 times as contributory to global warming as carbon dioxide?"

Her: *looking furtive* "I did not know that. I think certain friends of mine would be very concerned to hear that."

Me: "So would we all. So would we all. I mean, you - no offence intended, but I'm pretty astute at these matters - you probably think I'm some sort of priggish killjoy here. But I tell you - just because I abstain from all things that the great unhosed think is fun doesn't mean I'm humourless. On the contrary, I find that it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside to laugh at them as they while away their lives in great clouds of carbon, not knowing that one day... you know... Gaia's gonna eat them alive in their own selfish filth. Yeah. And on that day, my friend, I will laugh my organic hemp Y-fronts off."

Her: *stony silence* "...Okay."

Me: "There is one thing I miss about being so ecologically concerned though."

Her: "What's that?"

Me: "Sex."

Her: "But how is sex bad for the environment?"

Me: "How is sex bad for the environment? Tututututututut... sex is one of the most environmentally unfriendly things you can do. I mean, it leads to children, and that's deeply offensive to the planet. There's six point seven billion of us nasty little apes crawling across Mother Earth like an eating, shitting, carbon-emitting rash. Each pitter-patter of tiny feet is another screaming shit machine that's going to consume more resources and let off more CO2. It's totally unacceptable. Thus, I don't have sex."

Her: "But can't you use protection?"

Me: "I would, if only there was a form of contraception that was ecologically sound. The pill? That's made by the pharmaceutical industry, and we all know what they do to the environment - and to animals, for that matter! Condoms? They're out as well. They're made from latex, and latex is from the mutilation of rubber trees... and you know how it is with deforestation and all that. Intra-uterine devices? They're the worst of the lot. They're made from plastic and plastic comes from oil and we all know what oil does!

Her: "But what about... you know... pulling out?"

Me: "Too risky. As a devout believer in the precautionary principle, I refuse to do that because even the lesser risk of causing pregnancy through my bestial urges is unacceptable. Same with the rhythm method. So you see... no sex."

Her: "...Wow."

Me: "I don't have sex, I don't smoke, I don't drink (beer miles, anyone?), and I don't eat anything not locally produced. But don't get me wrong... there's still one guilty pleasure in my life."

Her: "What's that then?"

Me: "Telling lies. Good day to you."