Being asked for money on the street-- any good stories?
I remember some sad situations which I will always remember, but some of the funnier ones: The guy with the sign "Need money for beer-- drunk but truthful," the guy who told me he needed money for heat as he'd gotten frostbite and might lose his toes (he was riding a bike at the time), and a great answer when my aunt asked how he would spend the dollar, "Fifty percent on food, twenty-five percent on drink, and the rest on pure frivolity." Which encounters have stayed with you over the years?
Many years ago in the old fashioned days back in the 1960s, I was accosted by a tramp in the Charing Cross Road. I was going into the now defunct music shopn Scarfs.
'Got a shilling for a cup of tea guv?'
'Sorry mate, I've only got a fiver.'
His reply, 'I've got change.'
For those that don't know, back in the 60s £5 was a lot of money, had I handed it over and expected change, the tramp and the note would have been long gone.
Just the other day as I was on my way to work I met a guy with a sign 'Help my family has been kidnapped by Ninja's and I need $4 for Karate Lessons'.
I thought it was hilarious. I didn't know how popular it already was though when I typed it up on the internet. Some of them are so funny, and I have to admit if something makes me laugh I'm that much more willing to give.
When I lived in NYC, a street beggar became a friend. He was a classic: an old black man with a metal plate in his head - literally. He had a great riddle: What is the best nation in the world? His answer, a donation. My reply, except when you need a urination! Then, that's even better. His joke must have made it's way around, because, eventually, I heard Sipowitz use it on NYPD Blue!
Another encounter was a real wake-up call. A guy asked me for a couple bucks and I gave it to him - and then I realized he was wearing a windbreaker nicer than mine! Since then, I haven't given money to someone unless I know they need it more than me and my family.
There was a time when people asked for anything they really needed it. Now there are so many scams you really don't know what to do. This one is somthing I observed. A man was asking for money as people walked along the sidewalk. Someone put in a coin....probably a quarter....the begger took it out of the container, threw it at the giver and said something obscene....I guess beggars can be choosey.....LOL
I was in the car...traffic was heavy in the turn lane. I noticed a woman with a sign. Something about her just rang true to her need. Of course, many cars passed her.....as I approached something inside me knew I needed to give her something....normally if I give it is $1 or $2.....I gave her a $10 bill...when she saw what it was she started to cry...sob really. I knew I had done the right thing.
Actual homeless people looking for food, but rarely drunks. I gave a guy $10 because I seen him eating food out the bus stop trash can. He bought food and came back, no alcohol in sight. I felt great. The next day I lost $150, my I.D, social security card, and Netspend Debit Card lol. Sad but at least someone ate good.
I was in Camden Town, London. A lady whom did not speak English was begging for money. She indicated the 10p coin in the palm of her hand and with her other hand gestured that I should add more coins to it. I simply took it out of her hand and said 'thank you' and went to walk away with it.
She soon found out how to speak English judging by the torrent of abuse that followed from her mouth.
A guy had a bright smile and said he was going to be honest. He told me and my boyfriend he really wanted money for beer.
One time in Los Angeles my husband and I were walking and a man who has obviously been living on the streets for a long time said to us, "Hey, if you buy me a beer I'll drink it." We declined, but when we came back the other way a few hours later he was pretty drunk, so it appeared that he had found somebody to buy him a beer or two.
Another time we were staying at a hotel in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. Truly I have never seen such a scene, you had to step around sleeping people on the sidewalk in the mornings. There was one particular woman we saw each day in front of a coffee shop where we went to have breakfast. She was younger than I, maybe 40, and she had a shopping cart piled high with belongings which she would cover with a blanket and chain to a lamp post across the street from where she would sit with her dog and her sign. She had obviously been living this way for quite some time. Her face was brown and weathered, and her clothes were well worn, but they were clean and they matched. Something about her touched me, that she was making this effort. She had a new sign with a new story each day, and each day we gave her a couple of dollars.
In Kings Park, above the city I live, an old homeless woman occupied the same bench day after day. Everyone who passed her she asked 50 cents for butter, which she bought every day and ate with a stale bread, she got for free from a nearby bakery. We called her 'Butter lady'. She was quiet little soul who didn't bother anyone. When she was murdered on one cold winter night, Kings Park suddenly felt foreign and cruel....something changed in me that day, her bench is empty and the world seems more unhospitable place...
You were touched by this woman and I was touched by the way you told about her.
This is a heartbreaking story. I don't understand why anyone would want to kill such a person - and I don't understand why the authorities cannot protect vulnerable people like this. An old lady should not need to starve and sleep outside in winter.
My Dad had a print shop near a downtown area. Occasionally, a man would come in asking for "money for food".
He would never give money , but would offer to buy him a sandwich at the cafe next door. Very few accepted his offer.
A friend of mine got a surprise bonus at work and was so happy that he decided to be generous. There was an old bag lady who always sat in the street near his office, so he decided he would give her a £5 note to get some lunch. However, when he held it out to her she went crazy and chased after him swearing and trying to hit him over the head with some of her stuff. Maybe she thought he was trying to buy her services or something.
The best time was when a man had been working a day job next door to my moms farm...the neighbor was expecting to much work for too little pay so the man quit and came to my moms house to get a ride back into town which my mom did...on the thirty minute trip into town a learned all about his hobo lifestyle and the things he did for money..usually odd jobs but also a lot of begging...his favorite was to give a story for a dollar...he was a cool guy...
by Cindy Vine 9 years ago
Don't be shy guys, share, share, share. We want all the sordid details!
by Don Bobbitt 6 years ago
Why am I seeing SO MANY Hubs with obvious GRAMMATICAL ERRORS in the TITLE?I mean, People? The Title is your HOOK!
by greg g zaino 8 years ago
If a homeless woman asked you for spare change to eat how would you react?This person looks as though she were standing at deaths door, her clothes are tattered - her skin leathery and yellowed - and she is pushing a shopping cart full of all her earthly belongings. You believe she has...
by masculine 4 years ago
Is being HAIRY a crime.....??YES
by Eaglekiwi 9 years ago
See here's the thing.Begging for money even a dollar is not as common from where I come from ( yes occasionally) but its laughed at or openly scorned at so for whatever reason its just not common.I have lived in the USA for 5 months now ,and been approached so many times mostly young guys asking...
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