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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ninja Bums

Down in Eugene the other day I saw a woman standing on the curb holding a big cardboard sign:

Ninjas Killed My Family
Need Money For
Kung-Fu Lessons

When we stopped in Salem on the way back for ice cream, there were people standing on the corner with your more standard pan-handling signs.

There was a young couple standing at the top of the exit ramp on my way to lunch today. His sign said something about needing a tire. I gave him a five.

I mentioned this at lunch and Marc tells me he had seen a bus dropping off people at key pan-handling locations. I don't know if this is a true story or not, but it is certainly believable. If you can stomach it I am sure you can collect enough money by panhandling to make it worth your while. The economy is certainly in bad shape, and I am sure it has hit some people harder than others. I am always of two minds about giving money to bums. On one hand, why don't they a get a job, lazy good-for-nothing slackers. On the other hand, there, but for the grace of god, go I.

I stopped at Costco for gas today. It's a big place. I think they must have half a dozen people working there pumping gas. Most of them seemed to be my age, i.e. old. I'm thinking there, but for the grace of god, go I. On the other hand, even a menial job like pumping gas might be a nice change of pace from my aimless bouncing. And it would be bringing money in.

On the gripping hand (I saw that somewhere yesterday), by not working, I am leaving a position open for someone who might need it worse than I do.


Tam said...

That sign would have given me at least a dollar's worth of a chuckle. That's a service rendered for which I will happily pay.

Charles Pergiel said...

I couldn't stop there (for numerous excuses). I think that's why I gave the tire guy money - sort of a karma thing.

Terry said...

Over on the other side of the pond (and here too I suspect), it's a very organized thing.

Children in rags, along with some mothers still breastfeeding their young are dropped off from cars in advantageous places and picked up again at the end of the day.

The cars, btw, are the latest model mercedes or other luxury brand.

This is not second hand , just so you know.

There can be a lot of money to be made panhandling and if you know how to do it right you can get, daily, near or more than minimum wage.

That doesn't mean it's always a scam (if that's the proper word), there are people in genuine need out there.

Charles Pergiel said...

Back when I was a kid, forty years ago or so, I remember hearing about a guy in New York City who was making $200 a day panhandling. He had a chauffer driven limo drop him off and pick him up each day. So it's nothing new.

Six said...

I was a cop for 24 years so I have a good understanding of the dynamics involved and why some panhandle. That said, I tend to give a few bucks whenever I can. What they do with that charity is between them and God. Whether or not I give it is between me and God.

staghounds said...

I keep ":have a better day" stuff in the car. Umbrellas, warm coats, durable and tasty foodstuffs.

Someone wearing only a shirt on a winter day, walking in the pouring rain, or looking genuinely hungry, probably is not a fraud.

And there is no problem that being cold, wet, or hungry makes better.