One cool afternoon, the Wurst had the chance to chat with one of the deaf boys who hangs out in the center and asks you to sign his petition.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I could give you my name, but it would be fake anyway. So how about you just call me Ralph.
Okay, Ralph. How old are you?
I’m 10 years old.
Can you explain the moustache?
What, this thing on my face? It’s nothing, really. Where I’m from, most boys start growing facial hair when they’re five or six. It’s something in the water.
I see. Can you tell us a little about what you do?
Well, it’s pretty simple. I hang out in crowded public spaces, like the Grand Rue or Avenue de la Gare, and I ask people to sign my petition.
What’s the petition for?
I’m deaf, you see, and this form is from the International Alliance of Deaf Children, so by signing it you declare your support for me and other kids like me. Guaranteed 100 percent legitimate, because the logo’s right there in the corner, in poorly photocopied black and white for all the world to see.
What does my signature do?
It’s just a formality, really. Sure, once we get three million signatures, we’re going to hand our petitions over to the European Union and demand that more be done to help us, but until then we’d be happy with a small donation.
A donation for what?
At the end of every day, I give all the money I’ve collected to a field officer from my organization. He drives to our research center in France and directly passes the funds to research teams who are, as we speak, trying to find a way to give me the power to hear. It’s a very transparent system with little overhead. Would you like to donate?
Well, I … I don’t know. I guess so, but I wouldn’t know how much to give.
Here, I’ll show you how it works. You see, I’ve already got 20 signatures today. Next to each generous donor’s name, I’ve written down how much they gave me. The first person gave me a euro, the tenth gave me 20 euros, and just before you showed up, a very kind woman gave me 100 euros.
So, logically, I should give more. Would 125 euros work?
I saw your lips moving, but I didn’t catch what you said.
How does 150 sound?
Sorry, I hear you, but I don’t hear you. You know what I mean?
Right. Look, it’s my wife’s birthday today and I was supposed to buy her a nice present, but, well, what better gift is there than the gift of giving? I’ll donate in her name. Here’s 250 euros, but really, it’s all I’ve got.
Thank you, sir. With some luck and a few more donations, I’ll be able to hear by the end of the summer.
You’re welcome, Ralph. All the best.