19 April 2008

The Panhandler's Story

Ever seen a panhandler handle a pan? Me neither.

I have heard some pretty crazy stories though. Your daughter just got hit by a car and you need cash to take the bus to the hospital? Too bad they didn't let you ride in the ambulance with her. Or did you need me to call one for you? No?

The reason I never give any money, however, isn't because I don't want to feed their addictions (I do). It's because the stories are never internally consistent. Come on, guys!

Recently, a man asked me how far a local gas station was. Apparently, 1 mile is too far to walk, which I didn't know because I walk that route all the time. As it turns out, he just needed 4 bucks for gas to get to his job another half mile past that gas station.

The gas can story is pretty common. I think the idea is that anyone who might give money won't stick around to see you go get the gas and refill your tank, so they'll have no idea you bought booze instead. Nice!

I've heard it probably a dozen times in the last year, and I think at least once from this guy. The new twist was that he was willing to leave his driver's license with me so he could come back at noon after he got his paycheck to pay me back. Hell of a guy.

Except it meant I'd give him money to get gas so he could drive his car without a license to his job and back. Never give to anyone willing to drive without a license for less than cost of the applicable legal charges that person would incur in the instance of their being caught.

I know you won't read this, panhandler guy, but you won't get my cash unless you try harder. Maybe work a song and dance in there somewhere? Or some logic?

1 comment:

SJ Austin said...

Or at least a dirty joke.

My solution is always to ask them if they take debit. They never do...