1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Talk about a fine start to a Sunday ...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by mike311gd, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I'm walking into the city this morning with my headphones on and my CD player blasting. I cross the street a few blocks in front of these two guys, so I wouldn't have to walk on the road when I passed them. As I'm catching up to those guys, I notice they could be homeless; I pass a few homeless people every day, so it's nothing out of the ordinary. But I notice the guy in front has a tennis racket, and he's bouncing it off his knee. I think, "Hey, that's cool. Whenever I've got a tennis racket, I do the same thing. I wonder if all people do that? ..."

    Anyway, I get back into my music and regular thoughts when I hear this scream, which sounds like a call for attention. I ignore it, thinking they don't mean me; I know I didn't drop anything and I don't know anyone in town. So I keep going and walk past this mother and her young daughter, apparently going to church. I think, "Man, when was the last time I went to church? Oh, the wedding in July. ..." And I'm interrupted.

    One of the homeless guys comes over to me and yells for my attention. I take off the headphones and let the Flogging Molly play sans audience. The dude says, "Man, me and my buddy are trying to get a bottle of wine." I'm thinking, "Good Christ. It's not even 10 a.m." "Can you help us out?" he asks. I gave him a sympathetic half-smile and said, "I'm sorry, man. I'm not going to give you any money." Irritated, he says, "Man, we're homeless and really cold. All we want is a bottle of wine." I said, "I'm sorry, man. No." Then he turns away, then back around and says, "Can I ask you why?" Instead of lying to the guy like I normally would, I said, "Because I don't want to give out money for alcohol. I'm sorry."

    I'm done, right? No. ...

    The guy looks at me and says, "Have you ever been homeless?" "No, I haven't," I said. "Well," he says, "I'll see you on the way down."

    Talk about inspiring, huh?

    Now, if the guy wanted money for a can of tennis balls, I would have gladly shelled out $3. But that certainly wasn't his route.
  2. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    At least he was honest.

    Someone on here posted once that they could never imagine that level of destitution, and if that one bottle of liquor makes him warmer or happier for a few minutes, then at least it was worth it. What is he going to do with $5 that's going to be an everlasting joy? Nothing. It's a couple hours of fun and laughing and remembering the good times.

    I gave a homeless guy $5 on the night before Thanksgiving (it's all the cash I had on me..never carry any), and I don't care if he used it to buy a speck of heroin. If he got what he wanted, and he didn't harm anyone in the process, then good for him.
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I don't usually carry much cash on me, either. I don't like giving what money I do have away because, generally, it's not often I can spare it. And once I do give $5 to someone on the street, I'd be afraid I'd be hit up every morning by more and more people.

    I'd much rather give them food or something. A few weeks ago, I was coming out of a restaurant with about a quarter of an individual pizza, and some dude approached me and asked if he could buy it off me. I laughed at him, said, "No, you can't buy it off me. Just take it. I don't need it anymore." He was happy as could be, and so was I.
  4. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    It was me, and, well, you said it better.
  5. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    At least he didn't serve your ass into the ad court :D
  6. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I thought he was going to do some damage to my head piece for a second.
  7. "See you on the way down"?
    Tony Robbins is homeless?
    Who knew?
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    That's what got me. Usually I just get a "thanks-for-nothing" look and they're on their ways. But he took the liberty of penciling in my demise. I thought it was pretty clever, though not clever enough for a fiver.
  9. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    You think there's a network of homeless people who talk about who gives and who doesn't, and the web would spread out until you couldn't take a step without someone begging you for cash?

  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    No. But on that particular street, there are about six or seven people I pass every day who look for hand-outs on a regular basis. So until I can actually manage to spare a couple bucks, I'm not taking any chances.
  11. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    Here's the thing, though...you said if he'd asked for money for tennis balls, you would have given it.

    So don't act like this is ALL about your ability to give. Part of it is your judgment of what it was going for. Not that there's anything wrong with that...it's your money to determine where it goes. But don't act like that didn't come into it, which is what all your after posts have sounded like.
  12. i understand that most likely there isn't any harm in giving a homeless person money to get drunk, but...have you ever been harassed by a drunk homeless person on your way to your car, or walking home late at night?

    Maybe it's because i've lived in places like SF and NY where the homeless in some areas of the city really can get agressive but i would never, ever, give money to a homeless person i thought was going to use it to get fucked up. yes, a lot of these guys are down on their luck, but many of them are also mentally unbalanced (and their condition is not always obvious)...i contribute to charities designed to get people off the street, i dontate to shelters, i dontate nice clothes to give to homeless people looking to interview for jobs--but i just don't feel that giving them money for drugs or booze is the right thing to do...my 2 cents...
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page