25 January 2012

Street Scene

Ugly people offend me. And when that ugliness is combined with outstretched hand asking for handouts, I find it practically intolerable.

Picture the scene. I was crossing the street in a Brooks Brothers chalkstripe suit with a 3/2 roll, monk shoes, and BB repp tie, tall, muscular, elegant, due to meet colleagues for lunch.

A heavy-set black-haired European-American woman with tanned, weathered face and chapped lips, appeared 50 but probably 35 or so, approached me with a small plastic bucket and polite request for a donation.

I cut her off. "A donation for what?" I asked.

"For people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction," she replied.

"Not today." I walked away.

In point of fact it was the chubby urchin who should have given me money. For, as you know, I am addicted to wine and codeine. But you won't find me on the streets begging for dosh like a common miscreant. I actually work to fund my addictions.

It's a lesson lazy, fat-arsed Americans should take to heart.

In the shadow of the darkening horizon it is the everyday encounters that continue to test my patience.

13 comments:

Tabitha said...

"I actually work to fund my addictions."

I so want to use this line next time a can rattler for this sort of ilk comes my way!

Stockton Andrews II said...

It's less offensives when the bums are honest and ask for some 'copper' for booze and drop the whole "I'm an addict/victim" con. I still wouldn't give them anything.

Anonymous said...

Arent you an American? Youre from Connecticut right?

w. adam mandelbaum said...

We should probably contribute monies to those who don't have addictions. Think of what the poor souls are missing!

Mike said...

European-American? How does it look like?

Anonymous said...

They are getting more creative by the day. Somewhere before Christmas a young man rang the doorbell and asked me if I wanted to save children in Thailand from pedophiles. He told me that with the help of donations he and his friends were planning to go to Thailand where they would take pictures of our country´s citizens visiting brothels and later present the pics to local police, so that all the pedophiles will be arrested. When I refused to give him money, he said, madame, but don´t you agree that pedophiles are scum. I said, I do, but I still won´t give you any money. You should have seen his face. I still laugh when I think of it. My friend who lives in a better part of the city simply gets students at the door who ask for handouts for poor students. She gave one of them 10 euro. My husband suggested we´d go along her door, too, but I didn´t find it such a good idea, after all.

Michael said...

I have a very effective repellant for bums. I find them repulsive and annoying in the extreme. I scream at them. I mean scream. "Fuck the poor" is particularly effective, in fact more effective than any other technique. I have had them recoil, physically flinch, from a sixty six year old man expensively dressed and shod and obviously fit. They do not expect the violence of my reaction nor its content. Highly recommended.

v. Braun. said...

I never give money, it's useless. We have many gypsies and Rumanians who beg on the street (they are all organized in gangs), at times, when I have a good day I give them the sign of benediction- raised fore- and middle-finger, thumb closed over other two- and because they are incredibly superstitious they cross themselves and often say thank you, young sir to me.

NJS said...

I think that vagrants are tremendously useful for taking all the shrapnel spare change and enabling one to keep the lines of one's suit.

Victor Delta said...

If they can change a $20, offer a buck. No takers.

Kingstonian said...

It is called charity. Were you not paying attention to those Jesuits?

''And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.''

'Buddy can you spare a dime?'

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Kingstonian ~ I paid attention all too well. Charity is for fools.

Vernon said...

While sitting at table in front of a restaurant in Dublin recently, I was warned by the barmaid about Gypsy urchins who would approach and beg; when you refused their unholy supplication, they would spit on you and flee. Soon, one did appear. In a preemptive motion, I stood and in a quite menacing fashion, shouted and raised my walking stick. He, someone's unwanted issue,turned tail, as his kind do, and ran. I and the establishment were bothered no more.

One must deal with such piffle from the lower classes as one has been trained.

Vern Trotter