I am not a rich person, Mr. Homeless Man!

The guy in the wheelchair who hung out in the parking lot of a club I used to go to in Detroit would ask for the bottle from whatever you were finishing before you went in (10 cent deposit in Michigan) or a smoke, but that’s it. If you came out to get a breath of fresh air he’d just hang out and bullshit with you. He always said thank you, didn’t make being nice to you depend on whether you gave him anything or not. Nice guy. Really the only homeless guy I had contact with in Detroit (believe it or not), so I grew up thinking that if someone wanted a handout or was down on his luck, you should give something to them because you never know when you might be down on your luck too. I’ve been through some particularly harsh times myself since then, and was glad I’d hung out with that guy and smoked and shot the shit.

Well, a couple of years after I moved here, I was walking to McD’s for some lunch and there was a guy out front asking for food. He was starving. He hadn’t eaten since breakfast the day before. Please, money for food. Damn, I need a burger, can I have some change for food? I told him I’d be happy to buy him a burger while I was getting my lunch.

“Oh, uh, I need change for the bus too.”

Oh. Fuck you, then.

I’ll pay $1 for the paper the homeless guys hand out. I’ll buy a homeless guy a burger. If I have a spare shirt with me, the homeless guy can have it. I’m never giving a dime to a beggar again.

I think it’s a shame and a pity that the guy outside the club in Detroit is going to miss out on some genuinely needed cash because the other guys across the country are fucking scam artists, and I find it depressing that I was so willing to stop and chat back then, and now I walk by quickly without acknowledging them.

The only time I ever threatened physical violence on a person in my 42 years of life was in Washington DC, when I was panhandled by one of the overly aggressive street bums. I’m 5’10" and big all around, and this guy was even bigger.

He stopped me in the middle of a busy street for a donation, and I said, “No thank you.”

“I didn’t offer you anything! I want your change.” He got real mean, real fast.

HTG, I pulled a 4" knife on him, and said “You don’t want to fuck with me, man”.

His eyes got very large, and he beat feet out of there. Lucky neither of us got hit in the process.

:smiley: Why thank you… I think you’re only the second doper to actually heed my request.

(We’ll see how long you continue to believe it) :wink: