and it goes like this...
once upon a time this morning, a lady came in with a box of cakes and we had this conversation right here (with some editing of sentence structure and bad grammar and made up words and huffing on my part):
lady: would you like to buy a cake for charity?
me: what charity is it for please?
lady: (mumbles a collection of initials that sounded like 'Piffles'. and then looks at me as if 'Piffles' pretty much explains absolutely everything that has ever needed explaining.)
me: (ever so patiently because i am ever so patient) and what does your charity raise money for?
me: well sorry, it's just my preference, but i only give money to secular charities.
lady: oh we are not a charity specific to any particular religion, we just encourage Faith in general.
me: Faith in what?
lady: anything. (looks at me with a gaze like a very clear puddle)
me: anything at all? ...(trying to be helpful) are you sure?
lady: yes anything. just Faith in general.
me: what like Faith In Yourself? or Faith In Democracy or Faith in The Existence Of Fairies?
lady: (getting a bit frustrated now) YES faith in anything, even atheists have faith in things.
me: (curious) like?
lady:like for example...faith in the fact that you are going to buy a cake today! (looks very pleased with herself for this dazzling piece of genius)
me: that's a little bit vague...i mean that's really quite a conceptual idea for a charity...i mean really, you may as well have a charity that raises money for 'Pathos' or 'Gladness' or 'Ennui'.
(at this point we stare at each other for quite some time.)
lady: Faith is important. Everyone needs Faith in something.
me: hmmmmm well it kind of depends. surely? not all faith can be good. for example Faith in The Effectiveness Of Poking People With a Big Stick wouldn't be the BEST kind of faith would it?
lady: (smiling) are you sure you wouldn't like to buy a cake?
me: (not sure as to whether i am still awake but very sure that i would like this conversation to be over and very much wishing i had a big stick) thank you but NO. i have quite a lot of cake as you can see... (pointing at the cake counter, full of cake, that stands between us like a barrier made of pure irony)
lady: (smiling harder) well you have a lovely day anyway!
me: you too!
and we both lived happily ever after (one of us slightly happier and more unburdened by rationality than the other.)