Free Fivers? Cor blimey, gov!
There are many things I would not do to gain £5.
One of these would be to sit in a bath of spiders. That, as Meatloaf might have once sung, I won't do.
Another thing I would not do for £5 would be to eat mint choc chip icecream. Oh no, the resultant endoscopy would be far more hassle than a mere fiver is worth.
However, if I were to see a chappy standing in the street, wearing a sandwich board saying: "If you want a free £5, stop me and ask: it's yours", I would happily shuffle over to him and hold him to his promise.
Of course, the initial shame as people see me begging for money would be offset by my demeanour. I would feign that I was merely bantering with him, saying something like: "Yeah, mate, what are you selling? You're having a lend" in a loud voice. I would look quizzically at him, pretending to be oh-so-cool about it, when really I would be doing a happy dance inside ...
"I got a Fiiiiiiver, I got a Fiiiiver, you haven't got one, your mom's on welllllfare"
After receiving my £5, I would then come back for more, changing my appearance by carefully-positioned hats, coats, etc. I might even wear a shawl like a hijab to maximise my money-earning potential.
However, I would be in just 0.5 per cent of the UK population. Oh yes, 0.5 per cent.
For when someone from money-saving ideas website Save.co.uk did just that - stand in the West End for a day offering £5 to people - more than 2,700 people passed by and only 16 people decided to take him up on this.
That's right. SIXTEEN.
Which begs the question, are we Brits too proud to take money off strangers? Or too sceptical?
Either way, 16 people who either 'had no shame' or were trusting enough to believe his statement went home £5 richer than when they started out.
If only 0.5 per cent of the population is really bold enough to take such opportunities when they arise, then it's no wonder that UK consumers are more than £3trn in debt (excluding mortgages) and only 24 per cent of the population have made savings in the past 12 months.