I can too be a chooser

I was turning onto my street when I saw her, trudging along at maybe half speed. Be nice if I could move that fast, I thought.

I went through the usual gymnastics it takes to get me out of the car, and there she was at the top of my driveway. “I’m four months pregnant,” she said, “and I’m awfully hungry.”

Well, yeah, she looked about four months pregnant. I thought for a moment, then peeled off a five-spot. “Maybe this will help.”

She didn’t even bat an eye. “You can’t get anything to eat around here for less than eight.”

The audacity of “Help!” Never heard that pitch delivered quite that way before.

I handed her another fiver and went inside, on the sensible basis that I probably didn’t want her to see me unloading a trunkful of groceries.


  1. McGehee »

    20 February 2019 · 10:48 pm

    Years ago I was at a gas station when a guy came up and asked for gas money. I pulled a few bills out of my pocket and said it was all the cash I had.

    He said he needed more than that.

    I repeated myself, in a tone that made it clear that any further argument would see the bills go back in my pocket. He took the cash.

    That was the only beggar I ever had act that way to me. The half dozen or so others I’ve given money to at least knew how to pretend to be grateful.

  2. hollyh »

    21 February 2019 · 8:38 am

    And I thought *I* was a bleeding-heart liberal. You guys are sweet to give to these folks, but when it comes to panhandlers, I have made it a policy to NOT encourage them by giving them anything. Ever.

    However, now there is a new way. There’s a newsletter that they sell on the street now, The Curbside Chronicle, for 2.00 (or more, if one is so moved). I don’t mind giving to them this way, because it seems more organized and dignified, for both the giver and receiver.

  3. McGehee »

    21 February 2019 · 8:57 am

    We give because we don’t expect the State to do our charity for us.

  4. jsallison »

    21 February 2019 · 7:24 pm

    There’s a green vest that hangs out on the corner of Robinson and Main. He’s been there for several years, rain or shine. I’ve picked up a Curb Chron from time to time from him. I have to make a point of bringing cash as I don’t usually carry any. I’m still waiting for the first panhandler to whip out his iPhone and Square and offer to swipe my card…

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