I was scuttling along Leith’s Great Junction Street last Saturday afternoon and was passing Tesco’s Express store when an elderly gentleman approached me.
‘Excuse me, son’ he said with a voice like gravel. He waved his walking stick at me as an attempt to ensure I wouldn’t ignore him.
‘Yes, sir’ I replied.
‘I’m sorry to have to ask you this’ the auld fella went on, ‘but could I ask you if you have any spare cash?’
Now this is far from the first time I have been accosted in the street and asked for money. Usually by members of my family....But something about this fella intrigued me and before I could ask why, he furthered his request.
‘I’m no’ gonnae lie to you son. I want to go in there and buy some tobacco’ he said, pointing to said Tesco’s.
I have to say I was immediately taken by his honesty. So many people have stopped me in the street and regaled me with some story about needing money for their bus fare to get them to the hospital to see their dying wife/sister/mother/husband/brother/long lost second cousin twice removed. But not this chap. He wasn’t attempting to hide the fact he wanted some fags.
‘I’m sorry to bother you’ he went on. ‘I had a stroke recently and having a puff is the only thing that keeps me going’
I asked how much he needed. ‘£3 should cover’ it he replied.
‘I’ll tell you what’ I ventured. ‘I won’t give you £3 – but I’ll give you £1. It’s a bit ironic you’ve asked me to help you buy tobacco – because my profession is to try and help people stop smoking’
‘Aye,?’ questioned the auld fella, ‘whit de ye mean?’
I then explained how hypnotherapy is used to help people stop smoking and gave him my business card for my hypnotherapy practice at
‘Gee!’ he exclaimed, ‘that’s brilliant. Dae ye think ye could help me?’
‘I can certainly try’ I replied.
‘Can ye help ma sister? She’s been trying tae lose weight for years but nothing helps'
I gave him another business card. ‘Tell her to give me a call’ I said.
The old man thanked me, shook my hand and headed into Tesco's.
Now I don't know if I'll hear from him or his sister. But if you want to stop smoking, lose weight, want help with self-confidence issues, or have a fear of spiders, flying or any other phobia, give me a call on 0752 135 3787 (24 hours) or email me at email@example.com
Together, we can change your life for the better.