Monday, August 25, 2008

I Beg Your Pardon

We have all seen them at some point. Some people fear them, while others detest them and wish they'd go away. Some people even laugh at them, but many more feel sorry for them. It doesn't matter if it's day time or night. They walk amongst us every day. Nor does it matter if it's downtown, in the city, in the ghettos, or the suburbs. They are every where. Although they are not extraordinarily abundant in numbers, you can't seem to avoid them. Whether you're walking down the street, coming out of the store, or even driving in your car. The "signs" of their presence is apparent. Regardless of how you feel about them they're not going anywhere.

By now you're probably all curious as to who or what I am talking about. Well if you haven't yet figured it out this blog is dedicated to the Homeless. Also known as bums, panhandlers, and hobos.

The homeless are the poorest of the poor. So poor that in some instances, they have no choice but to live outdoors even in cold climates. So poor that they're only income and or meals usually come from begging. It is very sad when a person becomes homeless and has no roof over their head or food to eat. I am actually one of the individuals that at times feels sorry for these individuals especially when they are children or disabled. We can debate all day about the homeless and the role the government should play in helping to assist them. But that's not what I'm focusing on. In this blog I want to discuss the panhandling tactics of some homeless individuals.

Although I do empathize with the homeless, I guess the skeptic in me won't always allow me to give to the homeless panhandlers. I guess bottom line I don't always trust my hard earned change is going to food or shelter or whatever they've told me they need the money for. In fact, I have the perfect example. One cold winter night I was in the hood and I had a taste for White Castle's chicken rings. So, I stopped at the drive through. As I'm placing my order a homeless man comes up to the car and said "If you have any change after you pay can you help me out with getting something to eat?" Now again, anyone that knows me knows I'm a big skeptic (Ask my cousin about Cris Angel. LoL). However, since he mentioned food and it was cold out I felt I should help him out. So, I went ahead and ordered my chicken rings, an order of fries, and a White Castle's Burger aka a slider. So, I proceed to window 2 and pay and receive my food. As I get ready to pull off the man is waiting right there after the window 2. As I drive past I reach in my bag, roll down my window, and hand the man the burger.

Now I can't calculate how much change I would have had without buying that burger but it's safe to say that a $0.59 cent white castle burger was about equivalent, and possibly a little more. Well as I hand this man the burger I have the slight feeling that I've done something good. Not really to better the world but at least in this man's life for right now. But that feeling quickly turned to anger when I noticed the look on the man's face as I handed him the burger. The look on his face was almost in disgust that I gave him food as opposed to money. He just looked at me and didn't even say thank you. I was comptemplating going snatching my burger back. But I was so pissed that I said "yeah you're welcome" and just rolled up my window and quickly sped off.

I don't know about any of you, but the 2 things I hate wasting the most are time and money. I was upset that I wasted my money on this homeless man. Some may be thinking it's only $0.59 cents what's the big deal? Well the change I spent won't make or break me but it's really a matter of principal. That change could have gone into my son's piggy bank like the rest of my change usually does. But no I wasted it on a burger for someone that didn't even appreciate my effort. I hate to sound cliche but "beggars can't be choosers!!" No pun intended of course.

But that's just one experience, but I can't lie it definitely didn't make it any easier for another homeless person to get my spare change out of me. Likewise, I saw a segment on an episode of Manswers on Spike TV that had to do with professional begging. In that segment I saw some statistics that made me damn near blow a gasket. It stated that some professional beggars can earn up to $49 an hour, $300 a day, and even $78,000 a year. I was floored to think that as hard as I work it would take me almost twice as long to earn what some of the top professional beggars do. After hearing this story I was done with helping panhandlers. That 50 cents can stay in my own pocket as opposed to helping someone live better than me for free. Watch the video below.

However, there are some homeless individuals that I would consider giving to. For instance, here in Chicago a lot of the homeless will sell a newspaper called The Defender. This is a homeless publication and I believe the proceeds go to help the homeless. Now I don't have a problem giving these guys a buck from time to time. At least they're working for their money, and at least I get a newspaper for my dollar. Also, the homeless that will clean your window I sometimes don't mind giving money. Again they're working for their money. If my window is dirty and they're willing to clean it for some change then it's a fair enough deal. But I will admit that I do hate when they just come up to your car without asking and clean the windshield then expect some money. No one gave you permission to clean my window man. Maybe I wanted that bird crap stain to stay there for a while.

The bottom line is that if they're trying to get money out of me they have to do much more than just hold out a cup or tell me a sob story. In addition, just holding up a sign saying something like "Homeless please help. God Bless" isn't good enough for me either. Perhaps some of you would/will give based on these things and God Bless you for that. However, I'm talking about me here. You want this change you better come with it. LoL. I mean if you're at the strip club and a girl just stands there in front of you and doesn't even take off her clothes or dance is that enough to make you want to make it rain? Well maybe some of ya'll but not me LoL. I worked hard for this money so you're going to have to convince me that it's worth my dollar is all I'm saying. It's no different than any other transaction. Again, no pun intended but maybe they need to try to think "out of the box." LoL. But, I took the time to find a bunch of panhandling signs that are all very unique. I've commented below on them and explained how much I would give and why.

This is a very creative sign. Very colorful and attention getting. The caption is actually funny. I love how they wrote out vibrator as if the letters themselves are vibrating. I'm not too sure if I empathize with the guy though. And I'm not down with contributing to someone else's inner freak especially if I don't benefit. LoL. Maybe he should have included a picture of his wife. If she's ugly then I can understand him wanting to get her a new vibrator asap. LoL. But just based on the comedy factor I'd give him 50 cents. $1-$2 if he could produce a picture of an ugly wife. LoL.

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a gambling man. So I wouldn't be able to resist taking this guy up on his bet. I'd bet about $1. He doesn't look that fast and his knee looks to be injured so I would even be willing to give him 2:1 odds on this bet. But I believe in paying up on bets so if I lose I would definitely pay up and even let him keep the quarter. I'm sure it's probably a scam though. I would get ready to throw the quarter and his ass would be dodging quarters like The Matrix. LoL. But if I did win I couldn't see taking his money. But I would let him keep the winning quarter for being a good sport.

Man this guy has my attention already. I feel him 100%. I have been there before. When my divorce finalized I had to give up the house I had bought, fixed up and lived in for almost 5 years to my ex-wife. I was essentially homeless. Thank God my grandmother let me crash on her couch for a few weeks until I found me a new place to live. But when I think back I also thank God I had a job because if I had neither I would have been homeless for real. So to this guy I'd give him at least $5 just because I feel his pain. As the song says sometimes it's "cheaper to keep her." LoL.

This is another comical sign. We all know the story behind New York Governor Elliot Spitzer and his prostitution bust. I'm assuming this guy is in New York. So if I was in New York and saw this guy and his sign I'd give him at least $0.60 just for the laugh. I would give more but I'm not trying to contribute to his prostitution addiction especially not at that astronomical price. If I had a condom in my wallet I would throw that in the plate as well. He will need it if he ever reaches his goal.

First off is it just me or does this guy bare an eerie resemblance to the late great Issac Hayes? Well as for his sign. Depending on how my day has been going I may have to take him up on his offer and tell him off for $2. So for $2 I'd go ahead and get my vent on. First off are you hot or cold? I mean you have a leather coat with the fur on the collar but yet you have no shirt on under it and the coat is unzipped. So make up your damn mind!! Put on a shirt and cover up that taco meat on your chest. Next, get a job stop begging and work for your money!! Lastly, wake yo ass up!! LoL. I mean what have you done to make you so damn tired? It's not like you just worked a 9-5 so you have no reason to be sleep in the middle of the day. And put on some socks man!! Okay I feel better now. That was actually worth my $2. Thanks.

Well if you've ever read any of my blogs and their titles then you know that I like to use the play on words. So this sign is right up my alley. First off the guy is a big guy so he definitely looks as if he can get his eat on. So, just off the funny factor of the sign I would be willing to give him about a buck for a burger or something. He definitely doesn't look to have missed too many meals so his sign must be working. Also, is it me or is he dressed like he works at a Target? I don't know he could be suspect. Maybe he's just on his lunch break and forgot his lunch or something. I would have to pull the sign back if I see a name tag he gets nothing from me. I'm not giving anything to someone that is gainfully employed.

Okay I'm going to walk lightly on this one because I know the secret service may be reading. All I must say is that this man has some balls. So I admire his boldness. However, he was smart enough to make sure his face was blurred out of this pic. But to even whisper those words like the Ying Yang Twins can get your ass locked up if the wrong person hears you. I'm not even going to type them. The picture is clearly not of a black man so to the C.I.A. it's not me. I don't know the date of this picture but if it was recent he wouldn't get anything from me Bush will be out soon anyway. But just for saying what I'm sure a lot of Americans want to say. I'm not saying me personally for Big Brother that's watching. But to this guy I'd give him about $3 buck for his boldness alone.

Now this is another bold move. However, if I was driving along this road I'd have to thank this guy. Apparently the Sheriff's Department are doing some sort of traffic sting and this guy is giving motorist a fair warning to be prepared. So now you can slow down, buckle up, and toss any illegal drugs or guns in the stash spot. If you were ticketed for speeding or no seat belt you're looking at a ticket of at least $25 or more. And if you're riding dirty well you already know that's going to cost you your freedom. Therefore, just on potentially saving me money I'd give this guy $5. And his friend at least a dollar I'm feeling the shirt (see blog entitled 9-1-1 Is a Joke). LoL .

I don't know if this was a shameless plug or what. But I tried to put in this website address and got nothing. So maybe he was just trying to be creative. However, I'm not trying to be funny but he should have put I see him needing that more than the change. Maybe the tooth fairy will fly past and drop something off in ya boys' cup. LoL. But he seems to be in good spirits about his situation so I would help him out with a dollar.

Okay finally!! This is what I been waiting for. Finally a panhandler that's keeping it real. No sob story here about being down on his luck or nothing to eat. He's putting it out there that he's trying to get money for not just beer, but also pot, and a hooker. Well if I came out of the liquor store from buying a case of beer and saw this sign I'd help him out. One ice cold beer from my case. About $0.75 value. Just a token of my appreciation for this man not wasting my time with a bullshit story in order to get my spare change. Enjoy the ice cold refreshing beer my friend. You'll have to get someone else to help you out with the hookers and weed.

Okay this guy is really going to the extremes to get his panhandle on. I have 2 problems with this guy's tactics. First, this guy is out of order for portraying himself as Jesus.
The robe and collection plate are way too much. Secondly, this sign is way too extreme. It's bad enough I have to worry about eternal damnation when I'm in church and pass the collection plate without contributing. But now I got this guy out on the street trying to condemn me to hell fire if I don't give to him. This guy wouldn't get a dime from me. If you read my blog (E-Mail and Text Forwards) I don't respond to scare tactics especially dealing with Hell. LoL. Also, being a black man white Jesus doesn't scare me much anyways. So, if his collection plate passed my way I'd most likely drop some chicken bones in it like Arsenio Hall on Coming To America. LoL.

So you mean to tell me someone kidnapped your wife and demanded a large ransom or they would harm your wife? Then you scraped and collected all this money to give for the ransom and when you counted it you were exactly $0.98 cents short? Man get the hell outta here. LoL. Even if that was the case if you're going to hold a sign that says your wife was kidnapped then you may as well have gone to the police. Then they would be handling the kidnapping and negotiations so you wouldn't have to be out begging for $0.98 cents. Although I give him props for attempting to be creative, he didn't think his story out well enough for him to get any money out of me. If his wife was really kidnapped I may let him use my phone to call 9-1-1 that's about it.

Hey doesn't this guy look familiar? And wait doesn't the sign look familiar too? I think it's our friend with the kidnapped wife. It's obviously a different day as he's changed clothes. Hey look even his sign has changed. He now needs $0.99 as opposed to the $0.98 cents he needed on the sign before. So did he somehow lose a penny during his attempt to scrape up the ransom money? Oh I get it, the kidnappers called and decided that the ransom wasn't high enough and decided to up it by a whole penny right? Man get this sign out of my face! I didn't fall for it the first time and now that I see you again with the same sign you're definitely not getting even that penny from me.

This sign is a nice attempt of this guy to be clever. However, the one thing he's not thinking about is that on every alcoholic beverage there is a disclaimer from the Government. "(1)According to The Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems." So in other words if you drink you will get drunk and your liver will look like a raisin in the sun if you drink too much. So the Government has done all the research necessary on alcohol and they don't need your help. Nice try though. You get an E for effort, but no money from me.

Now this sign is funny for a couple of reasons. First, I'm picturing big man here in a tight karate
outfit trying to learn kung-fu. Next, I'm trying to imagine a bunch of ninjas coming to the hood to kill this guys' family. I've been to enough hoods to know that even trained ninjas won't go there. So, if a group of individuals wearing all black killed his family I guarantee they weren't ninjas. Now if you subtract the nj from ninjas and add gg in it's place then the sign would be much more believable to me. I know I'm joking about someone's family being killed but I'm following his lead he's the one with smiley faces on the sign. I got a good laugh on this one $0.60 cents from me.

Another keeping it real sign. "Why lie I need a beer." Truer words could not have been spoken. I have to feel him on this one. Who doesn't need a beer from time to time? Again, if I had a beer on me I would definitely be willing to share with this man. Plus it looks hot out so I'm sure the cold beer would cool him off.

Again this guy is keeping it real. However, beer is one thing. I'm not going to support someone's drug habit. I know you're probably like you'll help destroy someone's liver but not their brain from drugs. Well yes it's a double standard but I have that right to choose where my money goes. I'm not forcing the beer down the man's throat. LoL. But back to this sign. I like the fact he is admitting he's not even homeless. If I were homeless and saw his sign I'd come over there and kick his ass. He's taking away from me being able to eat when he just wants to get high.

So the moral to this story a panhandler must be clever and creative to maximize their opportunity for getting money, especially from me. But hell, if a top notch professional beggar can make $78,000 a year then I'm definitely in the wrong profession. I am actually in the process of looking for a new job. So, Don't be surprised if you're walking downtown one day and you see me holding a "Will Rap For Food" sign. I'll have a portable CD player playing my debut CD "Ripped from the Headlines" and have copies of the album for sale (album coming soon, shameless plug I know). But at least I'll be selling you something and not just begging. But for real if you see your boy out there show me a little bit of support. Even if you don't buy a cd I'll spit a hot 16 for you for your spare change. LoL.


(Crank Dat Homeless Man)

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