Friday, May 10, 2013

Bumming Lunch

This most is not intended to be judgmental or condescending or rude in any way. The word bum in the title does not imply anything about the person I'm referring to.

I was recently working a case in downtown Roanoke, VA. I was parked in the famed Center in the Square where you must move frequently to avoid parking tickets. Parking enforcment had already chalked my tire 3 times that day and I wasn't waiting around anywhere to get a fourth mark. They may start to wonder about me lol.

Just as I pulled up to my parking spot in the afternoon I noticed a man sitting by the power box on the corner. He had a small plastic bag with things in it that I didn't pay too much attention to. I had my window down and he asked me for $0.84. I'm not sure why but I said sure. Normally I would not give money to beggars but this is not a bad area of town and he looked like a friendly person. So I gave him $0.85. He said thank you and told me he was trying to get enough money together to buy something to eat.

At first I felt sorry for him but then I thought no, that's not an appropriate response. I've often heard stories of beggars who make more money asking people for change than they do at jobs and thus they do this sort of thing for a living. I wasn't worried if that's what this man was doing or not. I had already given him money and I was content with that. But I did observe him for a few more minutes until he got up and left the area.

Several more groups of people came by. He didn't ask a single couple (1 male and 1 female) for money. He only seemed to ask women with one exception. The last people he asked was a group of 1 male and 2 females. Both females gave him money and one even gave him a piece of candy. He was so happy and excited about the candy.

I watched him open the candy like he was a child who's mother had just let him have that one piece before dinner. He dropped the candy and then picked it back up and looked around to see who noticed. Then he got up and walked to another area of the square. I do kind of feel sorry for whoever he gets lunch from since they will have to count all of that change.

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