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RANT: Panhandling


Now, I know life can be a real bitch. The Fates can deal you a lousy hand. Shit happens & sometimes you can't do anything about it. Some folks say, "If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!" Oh yeah, right. It takes more than lemons to make lemonade, pal. Where the hell's the sugar? The Water? Without them you've j ust got lemon juice. And some people are allergic to citrus! You ever think of that, Mr-Bumper-Sticker-Dickhead?!

Ahem. The point I'm trying to make is that I know that sometimes life can knock ya down and you might need a hand getting back up.

When that's the case, panhandling may just be that bit of help needed. A few bucks to get you through the cold night might just be what you need. Quite often I'm willing to put something in these outstretched hands, cuz I've certainly had my share of 'l ow-to-no income' periods. I may not have ever had it quite as bad as some folks, but I sure as hell hope that
karma will remember me if I do.

Of course, there are as many or more folks who panhandle who could just as easily be out working. According to some recent news reports, there's even scam artists who have a somewhat decent life but go out and prey on the generosity of others via panhand ling. Well, that sucks. Cuz it makes me more wary to give. So, I don't all the time. It all depends on the 'vibe' I get from the person and how generous I'm feeling that day.

What really ticks me off is when someone gets pissed at me for not giving them any change. If I say "no", then that's it. There's no way in hell that by arguing with me, I'll get a warm fuzzy feeling inside and be inspired to be generous. I'll just get angry. An if ya think they've won because they've gotten a rise out of me, then think again... cuz I *enjoy*
being all riled up. Not to mention, I still have my money and they don't.

What's even worse is what happened to me just a couple of days ago. I was in the middle of the grocery store at around 8pm or so, and a guy asked me for "some change". I happened to be in a generous mood and knew I had some 'spare' change in my pocket. It probably only amounted to $1.50 or so. I gave it to him and began to turn away.

"Is that all?"

What the fuck?! "Excuse me," I say. "What?"

"Nothing," he said and shuffled away.

What the fuck?! Sure, I didn't hand him a crisp twenty or the keys to my truck (approximately the same value). But I mean, come on! I didn't have to give him the lint in my pocket, much less any money. $1.50 more than what he had before I gave it to him. What an asshole.

Considering my outlook on life and my general feelings regarding the rest of the human race, I certainly didn't expect him to even thank me. I was stupefied that he had the gall to deem that my CHARITY was insufficient though. I watched him, incredulous ly, as he shambled down the aisle and turned the corner at the end. If I hadn't been in complete shock, I might've thought clearly enough to demand my money back.

It's bastards like him that have me apologizing to myself for being generous at all. I mean, I don't even like people in the first place! ...and I could've used that change in the vending machine the next day, for sure.

Original date: 12.05.97