SOMETIMES A BUM IS A BUM …
“Hey, can I have your spare money?” he asked, hand outstretched in anticipation.
“Excuse me?” I replied.
“Your spare money,” he said. “Can I have it? I saw you pay for that $1 cup of coffee with a five dollar bill, so I know you got change. I need it to buy some food.”
“But if I give my change to you, what will I use to buy my lunch?”
“You got more man,” he said. “I know you do. People like you always have more money.”
“So where do you work?” I asked him.
“Work?” he repeated. “Man, who you kidding? I don’t work. That’s why I’m out here asking people for their extra money. If I was workin’, you think I’d be here doin’ this?”
“So why do you think no one wants to hire you?” I asked, the answer standing right in front of me.
“I don’t know man,” he said with growing frustration. “You gonna give me your spare money or not?”
“I think the reason you don’t work,” I began, “is because you don’t really want to. Your clothes are as dirty and rank as your body. Your teeth look like they haven’t been brushed in ages. You reek of alcohol, cigarette smoke, urine and wet dog. Your attitude sucks and the way you beg is downright offensive.”
“F#ck you man,” he angrily shouted at me, as he approached another potential contributor.
I don’t usually confront street beggars like that, but there was something about him that triggered it. Usually, I either look them straight in the eyes and simply say, “No,” or I’ll give them a buck or two.
Sometimes even ten or twenty bucks. It all depends on how ripe the money tree is that day. Because people like me always have more money, right?