You and I are blessed. We are blessed to be healthy. We are blessed to not be on the street. But mostly, we are lucky to have polite bums. Of course you feel bad as you walk/drive past them, as they are holding their crude looking cardboard sign; but it’s not feasible to help all of them (or is it? Another topic for another person to debate). I think we have all overlooked these outcasts and should appreciate their courtesy for us. Cause if I was a bum, I would be all up in your face.
Bum Dave would be so confrontational, aggressive, and assertive it would make your head spin. You think I would kick it on the corner, holding a sign? Hell nah. I would exploit my situation. What do people already think when they see a homeless person? People are not thinking, oh that is sad. I wonder how they got there. How could I help them? They are thinking, that person is a crack baby and is probably crazy. Don’t make eye contact, do no make eye contact, do not make eye contact…. I would use that stigma to my utility. I would be that cracked-out-crazy.
I would go into a McDonald’s and say, “Hey, you make minimum wage. I ain’t about to trouble you if you help me out. I know you got some apple pies. You give me two of those and a burger, I will be out of your hair. Promise. If you don’t…..[pause]…. I will be upset.” That is when I give them a crazy look. If they decline my negotiations, I raise my tone, just enough to know that I am for real. Not prison shank real, but I-will-come-behind-the-counter real. If they decline again, I elevate my voice and my craziness. “I got problems MAN. You don’t need any PROBLEMS do you?! Help me out.” If they threaten to call the cops – I just equal them, get closer to them. Make them feel my presence, make it uncomfortable. You could do this in a variety of situations. People in a restaurant. Grocery store (I would dumpster dive as well.). Just in your face tactics.
I just wonder why this doesn’t happen more often. Bums are considered people who are on ‘life’s edge,’ yet they are begging. If I was on life’s edge, I would be pulling you down to pull me back up – example: people drowning. I would not be asking to survive or be warm, I would demand it, just like a toddler. There is no illegality in being a jerk in asking. Cops can’t throw you away that.
Other than that I guess I could do stunts for people, sell some organs, or do bum fights for money. And yes, those are my only options if was homeless. Because if that happens to me, I deserve to be on the street. I have way too many resources around me to be a screw up or without a home/job/family/happiness.
And I would be a bum in a cool place, like California. Eff the cold.