These street corner opportunists are such a hoot sometimes. They sit on the corners and freeway on/offramps (where you will be a captive audience), doing their best to look pathetic and helpless, and it just smells fishy. One of the ones I see on a regular basis has a sign that says “Any†hing helps!” (the “t” was a bold cross, hoping to appeal to good Christians out there). Another guy wears a Walkman with headphones…pretty good for a homeless guy, eh? One woman on the corner of Denny & Stewart does her best Oscar performance of looking downtrodden and unfortunate…her sign says “Very sick, need help. God Bless.” (95% of their signs say “God Bless” at the bottom, I’ve noticed.) Yesterday she was chugging Gatorade and smoking a cig. Wow, you’re that sick, eh? MmmHmmm. Nice try. But the one which annoys me the most is the lady whose sign says that she’s trying to feed her hungry kids. Hmmm, I don’t see any kids…where are they, stashed in the bushes? Again, nice try.
Barry Young, a talk radio host in Phoenix, often tells his audience about the times that he actually offered work to these guys who had signs reading “Need money and work, please help”. He would pull up to them and offer them REAL work: “Hey, I’ve got some stuff in my yard that needs to be moved back into my garage. I’ll pay you $10/hour for 2-3 hours of work. Interested?” Every single time, they would make up an excuse to turn him down. Why? Gee, I wonder. Why do actual work when you can prey on peoples’ pity & guilt with no effort at all? What a shame it is that these people distract from the REAL homeless folks out there who actually need help. (No, I’m not a cruel & heartless bastard. I just know bullshit when I see it.)