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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

STFU, Condescending Homeless Guy!

While walking to my car after work this evening, a smiling homeless man flagged me down to talk. At first, I thought he was simply sending a friendly hello wave my way, so I waved back and kept walking. He waved again and said something. I pulled off my headphones and asked, "What's that?"

"What's the scenario?" he asked again, smiling his brown toothy grin.

"I have no idea," I shrugged at the friendly gentleman.

"You probably don't remember," he continued, "but we met right about here, um, two weeks ago and you had some excuse why you couldn't help me out."

Here we go, I thought. What I said was, "OK. Well, the scenario still is that I don't carry cash on me." With that, I replaced my headphones securely to my ears, turned, growled the word "dipshit" and continue the trek to my car.

"Hey, man, I'm just playing. You have a blessed day," he called after me.

The balls on this guy! First of all, I walk the exact same route from my car to the office and then back to my car at the end of the business day. I've been walking this route for five years. I'm intimately aware of the businesses I pass and the people I encounter. I have never encountered this deceptively friendly homeless individual. Not two weeks ago. Not two months ago. Not two years ago. I have no idea what this guy was talking about.

But, OK, let's say I'm a dick and I have talked to this guy and I just don't remember him. Does that really make me a dick? I've encountered lots of homeless people when walking to and from work. I'm supposed to remember them all now? I'm supposed to cordon off a little area in my brain to store my memories of them and their stories? I don't remember the names of half the people I work with and I'm supposed to remember what I said to a homeless guy "that one time?"

Secondly, the whole "I don't carry cash on me" thing isn't a little scenario I use to stick it to the poor and unfortunate. I don't carry cash. That's it. I never throw in for funeral flower arrangements or Boss's Day presents at the office because I do not carry cash money on my person. And until very recently, I didn't know what my PIN was. I'm serious. For years (years!) I've had money in my account but no way to get to it in a pinch. I'm a slave to my debit card. But, what, I'm going to explain this to every homeless person who asks me for spare change? I don't have that kind of time. Hell, homeless people don't have that kind of time! So I say, "Sorry, I don't carry cash," and usually that's enough. Not with this grinning jackass though. No, he had to make me feel bad about my unwillingness to look through my desk for the PIN State Employee's Credit Union provided me. I'm lazy, OK? Believe me, if I had a couple of bucks to toss your way, I would, but I don't, so lay off the weird guilt trip.

Do I feel guilty though? Not really. I'm not going to feel guilty about having a steady job I hate or a bank account full of money that is spent mostly on snacks and sodas. It's my money and if I want to spend it on Tapatio Doritos, I'm going to spend it on Tapatio Doritos. Have you tried Tapatio Doritos yet? They're amazing.

And, listen, I gave out enough money to homeless people in my day. I'm not saying that I single-handedly solved the homelessness problem and have retired from philanthropic pursuits forever. I could do more. I could work a soup kitchen once a month or something. I could give my time and money in other ways. I want to do those things.

I was just amazed at the condescending tone in this man's voice. I'm sure he hears one-hundred scenarios a day. Turns out I was being truthful--if, in fact, we've ever met, which I still highly doubt--but how would he know that. Maybe writing this post is the ultimate dick move.

Nah. I was right this afternoon. That guy is a dipshit.

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