Thursday, November 17, 2005

Salt of the Earth

I was standing outside an office building on Sixth Avenue today, eating a pretzel, when a woman approached me and started talking in a barely audible whisper. Between the traffic noise, the internal sound of my munching on the pretzel and the hearing damage sustained from too many years standing in front of way too many watts of amp power, I could not make out what she was saying. Moreover, I was really hungry and had just taken my first bite of the pretzel and didn't want to be interrupted.

Also, I don't like people.

Anyway, after reading her lips and paying attention, I understood that she was saying, "Can you spare some change so I can get something to eat?" I tore off the uneaten half of the pretzel and and handed to her.

She seemed taken aback at first, but once she regained her composure, she looked at me skeptically and said in a concerned voice, "But this has too much salt!"


David Amulet said...

True story: A former girlfriend of mine who was quite a bleeding heart (one of the reasons for the "former") saw a homeless man on a DC street and decided to buy him a cheesburger at McDonalds.

Handing him the hot meal, she was taken aback to hear him say, "I can't eat that--I don't like cheese."

Case closed.

-- david

Tony Alva said...

A great follow up would have been to have rubbed some of the salt off and handed it back to her all the while you munch silently.

As for panhandlers, here in Atlanta they are not so docile. With the exception of the Philips Arena and Georgia Dome where police are in abundance and the panhandlers know better than to get too aggressive, a citizen can get the hard sell from these folks now and again.

On one of my visits to NYC not too long ago, Jackson and I were walking back to Smoke & Mirrors from the deli with the hot Eastern European chicks working behind the counter when we came upon a lady sifting through some garbage cans on Hope St. I pulled out a few bucks and gave it to her as we walked by and she got pretty pissed. I left it on her cart.

I think Jackson had done a crappy mix on one of her projects or something...

Chrispy said...

Dave, you certainly have a lot of trouble making the unfortunate happy. But don't give up on them. Maybe her doctor told her to cut down on her salt.

Except that she doesn't have a doctor, 'cause she's poor! Hahahaha.

One time a friend of mine wanted a cigarette, so I found a nice butt in the ashtray for him, wiped it off and everything. You can guess how THAT turned out.

Not a true story.

Dfactor said...

True story - I was walking along on Williams St. in the financial district a few weeks ago, and a beggar woman was going up to passers-by and loudly shouting "Won't anyone give me some food? I'm am hungry."

I reached in my bag, pulled out an apple, and tried to hand it to her. She pulled back and I said "Please, take my apple."

She said very anxiously back "I can't - I have no teef...I can;t chew it..."

I shrugged my shoulders in empathy (sympathy?), took a bite of the apple and WALKED ON DOWN THE HALL...

Jackson said...

Let's not lump the homless and panhandlers together. They are not always the one and the same. I never give to panhandlers - unless they are missing limbs or some other obvious sort of tragic circumstance. I will, however, dump change on street musicians. I hand out a lot of smokes as well.