The Good Kind of Dorky


Thursday, August 09, 2007

To the Beggar at the Corner of Staples Mill and Glenside or The Post in Which You Contemplate Whether or Not I am Going to Hell

I can only imagine how shameful it must be for a young woman, or anyone for that matter, to stand on a street corner with a sign that reads "I lost my job. My son and I need money to eat and pay the bills. Please help," or something along those lines.

I'd like to point out that I am much more willing to give the homeless food if I have it with me than I am to dole out money. I am a pretty trusting person, but when it comes to this, I don't like to hand out cash if I don't know that it will be used specifically for necessities. Necessities do not include beer, cigarettes and drugs, by the way.

When begging, there are some rules you must follow if you expect anything from me:

1. Don't approach my car.
2. Do not speak to me unless spoken to.
3. Do not try to force eye contact with me. Sometimes I don't have anything with me to give to you so don't try to force guilt upon me.
4. If you ask for food instead of money, I will be more likely to help you.

This next one is specifically for the woman I saw yesterday. All of the beggars who are sitting on the corner reading this blog, please learn from her mistakes.

5. Under no circumstances will you wear a shirt that says "Rise and Whine." Did you not contemplate how this might come across before you set out this afternoon for a round of rush hour begging? While it gave me a good laugh, it also took away my ability to feel at all bad for you. I'm sorry, but you must be dressed appropriately for the task at hand.


  • At 10:39 AM, Blogger Julie said…

    Excuse me but I am on the La Lohan diet... so Booze, cigs and drugs are NECESSITIES!

    Oh and I will see you down there in H - E- Double hockey sticks.

  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger The "Mind" said…

    *handing you the keys to the bus for laughing at the homeless lady's attire*

    You big meanie!


  • At 11:09 AM, Blogger alana said…

    When I was in Vegas I saw a homeless guy with a sign that read something along the lines of 'Who am I kidding? I just need booze.' While I guess I can commend him for his somewhat innovative approach to begging......there's no way he'd be getting my money.

  • At 11:28 AM, Blogger L Sass said…

    Sometimes I feel heartless when homeless people ask me for money, too. But you just don't know whether your money will help!

    I like the theory that its better to give money to organizations providing services to the homeless--let the experts handle it.

  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger Carrie said…

    I do my share but I am not about to give money to a someone begging. We have a lot of homeless around here and I have given out blankets on cold nights. I've also picked up tacos for the drunk guy on the corner that looks like he hasn't ate. Mainly I anonymously help my customers. The ones that struggle with a new baby. I'll get them a gift card to like Target or something.

    I figure, if I have a job, why shouldn't they?

  • At 4:26 PM, Blogger Mrs. Ca said…

    One time a beggar asked us for $1.05. My husband stopped and asked why $1.05, specifically. The guy answered, "Man, I just want some fries."

    We gave him the $1.05 just for being honest, and he smiled and walked across the street to McDonalds.

    Other than that I usually don't give money, but my husband always does.

  • At 4:39 PM, Anonymous elise said…

    I'm always so torn. Do I give them the money, knowing full well that they might just go and buy more drugs or whatever vice it is that has probably CAUSED the begging?

    Or do I just turn away and drive off, and then feel like a giant, snotty, privileged asshole the rest of the day?

    Ugh, that's the worst. The shirt definitely would have helped my decision, though.

  • At 5:06 PM, Anonymous alyndabear said…

    I agree - how can you feel as much sympathy when they've gone to the trouble of wearing something like that?

    And I hate to get approached more than once, by the same person. No means no.

  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    I have a hard time giving money to homeless people too. Nick, on the other hand, is much more giving so I guess we balance each other out. We do contribute to charities in our community though, so I don't feel much guilt for turning them down. I feel pretty confident that key services are being provided, if they just take it upon themselves to seek the help they need.

  • At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    There's a guy in Syracuse with a "who am I kidding" sign too! Only his says "I'm not gonna lie, I really need a beer." Needless to say I have not tossed him any cash.

  • At 10:15 PM, Anonymous sara said…

    remember that one time you chucked half a sandwich in a ziplock bag at the homeless dude out the car and it landed on the ground? that was awesome

  • At 10:25 PM, Blogger Queen of Light and Joy said…

    1. A large percentage of homeless people have mental disabilities and are unable to take advantage of the services that are made available because they are ravaged with fear.

    2. The girl with the crazy shirt may have gotten it as a hand out. Beggars can't be choosers.

    3. Many times homeless people don't want anything more than for someone to acknowledge them - eye contact, smile, maybe a "hello."

    4. Why do the homeless people have to "ask for food" why don't you, as a humane, kind, loving person just give it to them. Just because they are homeless doesn't mean that they don't deserve respect and have to constantly beg. Have you ever thought how it must be to constantly beg?

    5. And although you think that cigarettes, beer and drugs are not necessities, maybe they are good bargaining/trading tools on the street. Just because someone is homeless doesn't mean they are there because they fell from their life because of an addiction. Homeless does not = addiction.

    My favorite line was 2. Do not speak to me unless spoken to. THAT line really sums the feeling of this post up for me. lol

    This educational comment has been brought to you by the emergency Community workers association in connection with Down Town Core Group and has been broadcast only on this blog.

  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger Lindsey said…

    Whoa chicky, thank you for your informational comment, but seriously, I'm not really a heartless biatch. This post was just joking around as many of my posts do. As Sara pointed out, I throw food at the homeless on occasion.

    And it was in a zip lock bag...I didn't make him eat dirty food, he was just coming too close to my car and I didn't want him all up in my face.

  • At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Ross said…

    I can't tell if this is the best or worst post I've read in a long time.

    Either way, good work.

  • At 2:34 PM, Blogger Cece said…

    You know what? Mister use to drive for Mother Butler (a pie company) and one of his stops was to the Marie Calander restaurant. Each day the cooks would send him home with CONTAINERS of food. Most time he'd share w/the guys back at the plant. Well one day he was getting off the freeway & saw a lady w/a child begging for money. Her sign said "Will work for food". He called her over to his truck & handed her the bag of HOT MEALS that he'd just been given. The lady said What is this? He told her food so you can feed you & your daughter. Know what that bitch told him? "I don't want that shit. GIVE me some money instead!" He told her to fuck off and drove away, with his bag of food.

    I hate to say this, but living in LA I'm not such a trusting person. I don't hand out cash to homeless people. Know what I do w/my dollar bills and change? I've got it dumped (at the end of the day) into a large container for which I'm saving up additional Xmas money for my family. So I don't have any "extra" money.

    I can't help every poor soul I see. Sorry. I've got 4 souls to take care of.

  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous notanlines said…

    feels like an episode of Sarah Silvermen hahahah :)

    First post i read by you and seems like i'll keep coming back for more ...

  • At 3:15 PM, Anonymous cady said…

    heheeh...i have the same feelings you do about that. i just don't trust people to use the money for food if i give them money, but i'd be more than happy to give them some food. i hate ignoring them, but you never know where your money is going to go.

  • At 1:46 AM, Blogger The Mouse said…

    I will offer food. I will find a way to get blankets and coats to them through a local charity.

    But money? No.

  • At 12:41 AM, Blogger Aimee said…

    I'm apparently a sucker. lol I've been known to get two of whatever I'm having at starbucks to hand to the homeless guy smoking a cigarette butt from the street. I think I said, 'I hope you like chocolate!" when I handed it to him. lol

    I gave money to a guy who then asked me if I knew where he might find a labor ready (like a temp agency for physical - constructiony - jobs). I went and got a phone number and address for him...including a 1-800 number - and he headed straight to the phone.

    But I hear ya girlie. Some of them are scary and some of them are sneaks and cheats and you can't help but be suspicious.


  • At 10:15 PM, Blogger Nap Queen said…

    I only give food, never money. I usually give it to the ones who look like they are mental and not 23-year-old drug addicts. I guess I'm judgmental about which homeless people get my handouts. I just feel worse for the ones who are truly crazy and/or really old and can't hold down a job.

    As for approaching my car? I'm totally with you. Don't even think about it. To me, it's confrontational, and it makes me feel unsafe when ANYONE, homeless or not, approaches my car.

  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger mandora said…

    You 'throw' food on occasion? Are these people animals? Don't make eye contact? Don't speak unless spoken too? This sickens me. Regardless of whether you're 'joking' or not, that's disgusting. You need some compassion.

    I would have posted something like what the Queen said, but I'm not in the mood to be kind today. Go read my latest blog post, you'll understand why.

    I hope it gives you some insight.


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