Wednesday, September 2, 2015

sister, can you spare a dime (bag)?

Yesterday, I was on my way home and making my way through a busy tangled intersection.  In fact, it's the busiest intersection in the county.  It's not too bad of a place for bicycling, just a bit cumbersome with all of the crossings of on- and off-ramps.  A lot of stopping and starting, but ample path space away from traffic.

As it is such a high traffic area, I've noticed that it's become a popular place for panhandlers to set up shop.  As far as I've seen, the panhandlers don't get aggressive or obstruct the flow of traffic.  They just stand near the off-ramps holding their cardboard signs.


So, I was minding my own business and went on by one such panhandler.  We smiled our hellos and I continued on when I heard him say, "...mumble mumble spare?"

I stopped and turned to him, "Sorry... what?"

To which he replied, "Ya got any weed to spare?" and  brought his fingers up to his lips to mimic toking on a joint.

"Ah... no, sorry" I answered, "Good luck" and a wave good-bye.

So as I was pedaling on home, I got to thinking.  He's standing there asking motorists for money, but he didn't ask me for money.  He just asked me for pot.

Is it because I was on a bicycle?

Is it because I have a tattoo?

Is it because I ride a bicycle and have a tattoo?

Is it none of the above and I just look like a pothead?

Seriously, you guys would tell me if I looked like a pothead, wouldn't you?



Riot Kitty said...

Well if a tattoo makes you fit the criteria, apparently I'm a pothead right along with you.

OMG, the "checks no longer accepted" cracked me up!

Guano said...

I had a homeless dude offer me a fish once, as he tried to climb on the back of my motorcycle. "Dude, gimme a ride -- c'mon, I'll give you my fish!''
I was like all, "Do I LOOK like I need a FISH??"

Anyway, the point is whether you looked like a pothead (or I looked like a fish needer) is in the eyes of the beholders.

Abby said...

I know, right? Can't be too careful!

Abby said...

A FISH?!? What the...?

Well, maybe he was an M.D., and you were looking a little low on the omega-3s and he didn't want you having a heart attack while driving him to wherever. Probably not though.

agg79 said...

Dude. Now that you mention it, a tattooed, bike lady coming from a college campus might just give off that stoner look, right Dude? It may not be as bad as Guano's story but I've had a homeless guy climb in the back of my truck as I was stopped at a light looking for a ride (kinda freaked me out at the time).

The "checks no longer accepted" sign is funny. Your credit must really suck if you get rejected by a street person.

Abby said...

Hmmm, now that you mention it...

I assume the homeless guy eventually got OUT of the back of the truck?? That would freak me out too, especially at night. A friend and I once gave a hitch hiker a ride as long as he was willing to ride in the bed of the truck. It was carrying a load of manure at the time, but the guy didn't seem to care.

ShadowRun300 said...

You certainly don't look like the potheads that I run into. Then again, I've run into a few potheads who I never would have guessed were potheads. Maybe that's what he was counting on.
Since we're all speaking about the homeless, I had a homeless guy assume I was running into his open arms while I was out for an early morning run. It was quite funny actually.

Abby said...

Ha! I bet that was a sight.
Speaking of which, I came upon a homeless guy a few early morning runs ago. He was hunched near a gutter with a blanket on his shoulders. Scared the crap outta me.

terri said...

I once heard a woman call in to a radio show and admit that she and her husband (both gainfully employed) would take turns taking their kids out, one at a time, to stand on busy street corners or exit ramps and try to collect money from motorists. She said it created a healthy competition among the kids. She said they did it to collect enough money to take a three-week road trip in their motor home each summer. She said they were doing a good thing. They were helping donors feel good about sharing their money.

Ever since, I can't look at those people on the street corners without a bit of skepticism. I saw one the last couple of days. Made me think that if I'm not going to toss him some cash while waiting for the light to turn green, maybe I should decide to donate to some legit charity each time I see someone like him.

As for you looking like a pothead? Nah!

Abby said...

That's exactly why I don't give to panhandlers - for many, it's their "profession", and there are plenty of legitimate charities around.