Here’s my confession: Panhandlers piss me off. There. I said it. Shouldn’t I feel better having said that – some how, though, I don’t. I confess, also, that I don’t know why the real oldest profession affects me this way.
Today, I declined to lower my car window in the rainy McDonalds parking lot despite the request of a woman panhandler – I watched her work the whole lot and she had some success, too. I recognize pretty quickly when I am being targeted for begging. It happens to me often and I wonder to myself, “Do I look like a sucker and a liberal, or what?”
My favorite panhandling story happened last spring in the parking lot of a Dillons store not usually known for such things. A young African American man, who was either on some really good amphetamines, or what I suspect, he was having a pretty serious manic episode, approached me at the speed of light. He was literally running from person to person in the lot. He comes running up to me and before he makes his pitch, I hold up my hand and say “Sorry I can’t help you out.”
He broke into a fit of laughter, and said “Hey! You know what I’m about, don’t cha!”
I really need to introspect more about this failing, if is that…