So who are you, Mr Day Tripper, Mr Day Dreamer? What brings you here? Here, to where we live. And work. You will say you saw the welcome sign at the entrance to the town, on the door of the shops. You probably did. Do you believe everything you read? I mean, everything?
You come here smelling of outside, of elsewhere. You stink of it. Reek of it. We get the scent of you before you are a third of the way up the street. Before you even reached the café opposite the post office where you reached into your pockets to pay nearly a fiver for a coffee and bun. A fiver! For a coffee and a bun.
We love you, Mr Day Tripper, Mr Day Dreamer. You come here and spend your money. You are welcome. Welcome in the town and in our shops. We love the way you smell of money, money that you hope to leave behind with us, to perfume our town, to leave our shops, oh, so fragrant. Your generosity knows no bounds.
You visit our church. Just off the market place. Sixteenth century. Just look at that tower. Just hear those bells. See the font and the tapestries. Old. Valuable. The sort of thing you come to see. You walk past the boxes asking for donations to help with the upkeep of the place, to support orphans, to give to the poor. The church is empty. Nobody sees you not giving. You wouldn’t want people seeing you not giving, would you?
The high street is bustling. You and yours are visiting the card shops, the candle shops, the lets-get-gran-a-little-present shops. You carry little plastic bags branded with names of the shops you have visited. You have been busy, spreading it around. We love you for this. You are selfless. You approach the Big Issue seller, dig into your pockets for change, carefully count it out, exchange it for a magazine. Ignoring what the vendor is saying. Watching the people watching you giving.
Oh, Mr Day Tripper, Mr Day Dreamer, are you leaving us so early. Not yet four o’clock. And your purse still swollen. Do you not feel welcome? Do you sense hostility, aggression? Please don’t. There isn’t any. We have smiled at you all day. Since ten o’clock when you parked your car in the side street just off the pay-and-display car park – that saved you a few quid/lost our council a few quid. Have you seen anything other than smiles. Surely not.
Come now, toss a few more coins our way. Take out your plastic and tap out that PIN. Your fingers can do it. The little beeps the card reader makes is like music to us. Stay for our concert. You know you want to.
And return soon. We love you. You are always welcome. Thank you for visiting.