One young lad rolled his eyes and took a deep breath half way through.
Another gave up and said, not entirely convincintly, that she had an appointment to get to.
Another patient soul - in fact he was less patient than captive - stopped in Carmarthen town centre this morning to have a stab at reading the draft preamble and question for next year's referendum on Assembly powers protested at "civil-service speak". I offered up the Welsh language version instead. No go. "it's hard enough to understand in English!" he protested. "What's wrong with plain English?" But then he put his finger on it. He supposed it had to be right and accurate and explain what we're voting about "or there'd be trouble" he added.
There certainly would. In fact there's trouble already.
Ambiguity. Lack of clarity. Confusion. Not words the politicians who offered up the draft wording wanted to see from the Electoral Commission but all very much to the fore in today's report on the intelligibility of the referendum question.
There was some sympathy from the Commission for the Wales Office and the project board who came up with the wording, certainly. But you just get the feeling that what looked utterly straightforward in offices in Whitehall and Cardiff Bay turned out to be something akin to gibberish on the streets of Carmarthen, Caersws and Colwyn Bay, once the programme of road-testing began.
But what are the chances of the voters getting the information they need? The Commission seems pretty pessimistic in their report today, to be honest. So concerned are they about the lack of knowledge that they plan to provide a public information leaflet to every household in Wales at the start of the campaign.
They also warn that there's likely to be debate about whether either the Yes or No campaigns are misleading voters about the referendum subject matter.
The report says, "Such debate is a normal part of any election or referendum campaign, but where public knowledge of the referendum subject matter is low, real or perceived misinformation is likely to become more of an issue in the campaign."
This is echoed by the former chair of the All Wales Convention, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, in the notes from his meeting with the Commission, released today. He too warns there's likely to be "much uncertainty and misinformation in the campaigns" and also expresses his disappointment that the awareness-raising work of his group ceased with the end of his public consultation last November.
The Commission also responds today to the warning from two academics that the referendum result could be ruled illegal if the question does not specifically refer to a move to Part 4 and Schedule 7 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.
The Commission says that in its view, the question does not have to have specific references to the Act in it, that this would not be understood by voters, and they are not concerned that not including them could lead to a successful challenge to the result.
What seems to have struck the report authors is the somewhat frightening disconnect between the level of citizens understanding, where some struggled with the meaning of the word "devolved" (many read it as "developed" this morning) and even the very concept of a referendum, and the nuanced arguments of the academics and interest groups who also contributed, in many cases eloquently and at great length, to the consultation.
It sounds as though the idea of including the words "part 4 and schedule 7" prompted a collective head in hands moment at the Commission's HQ.
But given the very low level of public understanding of the issues involved that comes out from today's research, how confident can the Commission itself be that their revised and simplified question is itself intelligible to the vast majority of voters?
A raising of hands to the heavens and a sigh of "it's the best we can do given where we are" - I suspect - is the reaction.