Thursday, December 17, 2009

Frauds on the Corner

I know this is the season of giving and peace but I have a strong feeling that there are some who don't deserve it.

When passing a corner not too far from my home I spied a guy with a sign indicating he's homeless, hungry, and in need of medical supplies. He has his pant leg rolled up to the knee, graphically displaying an open wound of about 4 inches in length, bright red, and fairly deep. My problem is that I saw him on this same corner two weeks ago with a older sign, displaying the same injured leg. There was no measurable difference in the wound this week. It is the same size and color it was two weeks ago. I don't like being a cynic but this is either the best cosmetic make-up job I've ever seen or this guy is due for Gangrene therapy. I thought it would be cute to watch him after I gave him a roll of sterile bandages.

The other day I saw three perfectly healthy teenage kids with their dog on another corner. Their sign read "Travelers in Need of Some Help". Their dog seemed well-fed and happy. The kids were smoking cigarettes. Do you know the cost of cigarettes lately? Maybe they drove down to Virginia in their Prius and got the butts at a reduced price.

I really want to help these people but I don't feel they would use my donation wisely. I recall a skit somewhere on TV some time back where there was a company offering franchises to those who wanted to beg on corners. For 3 payments of $19.99 (plus S&H) you could get a cardboard sign, ragged clothes, a rented wheelchair to prop up on the STOP sign, and guaranteed access to a corner near your home.

One of these days I'm going to follow one of these panhandlers to see where they head home. Maybe to a high-rise in Suburbia?

...and thanks to the lady in the front of our line of cars who kept looking for change to give this guy and made the rest of us miss the green light!!

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