Thursday, August 13, 2009

Homeless and Poor

He held a sign that read “Please Help, Homeless and Poor.” I sure was grateful that he cleared up the confusion by adding the part about being poor, because if he had been Homeless and Wealthy I was just going to roll down my window and yell, “Go buy a damn house, then!”

I suppose I am a little uneducated in the homeless department because I had always just assumed that if you were homeless it was because you were poor. Then again, you can be poor and not homeless, so maybe you can also be homeless without being poor. Now all of a sudden I started feeling bad for the guy because he had it really bad. Double whammy…homeless and poor. And to think for a few seconds there I was going to offer to pay him 5 bucks if he would let me add the words “and lazy” to his sign.

I often wonder why these guys aren’t working to make some money. I know some people say that they have a disability or something that prevents them from working, but I mean come on…they are already standing for 10-12 hours a day holding their signs! They would make ideal Wal-Mart greeters. I mean, they are already seasoned in standing in one place for long periods of time. If it was too uncomfortable to actually greet the Wal-Mart shoppers, perhaps they could just hold up a sign that read, “Welcome to Wal-Mart.” I’m sure it would go over great for Wal-Mart’s public relations perception. They could even change their slogan to “Wal-Mart…putting America’s homeless to work.”

I know for sure that these guys could get a job for at least four months of the year with Liberty Mutual. It would be a perfect gig for them, holding up a sign and waving it at passing vehicles on the side of the road. Isn’t that really what they are already doing anyway? Liberty Mutual should just run around the city and dress the homeless in Lady of Liberty costumes and pay them to hold up their signs. Besides the cheap advertising, think of what a great tax write-off they could get.

The only other question I had about the homeless people that stand around holding signs is, where in the world do they get the markers to make their signs? I know at my house I can never find a marker when I need one, so how the hell are these guys getting them if they don’t even have a home to begin with? Plus, the markers they use aren’t those cheap ones. Oh no, they aren’t those flimsy old fine point ones. They use those “fat boy” ones that make lines big enough for passing vehicles to see. Those markers aren’t cheap! If they were smart, they would be selling the markers they use to people like me who can’t find them anywhere in my house to save my life. I would pay a pretty penny for one of those.

Needless to say, even after the homeless guy got me thinking about all these things, I still couldn’t help but feel bad for him and I gave him 5 bucks. As I was walking away I realized that he probably made more money than me if everyone that passed by felt the same way I did. But then again, his sign did say Homeless and Poor…so probably not.


cort said...

Some of those guys really rake in the dough, but I do think there is like %5 of the dudes that are legit. I still can't help but feel sorry for them, I mean even if they do make some mad cash, the fact that they have to dress in crappy clothes and sit all day....I will give them some money for that.

Allison said...

Good point about the marker. Really good point.

Anonymous said...

Jared its Blair. You are officially a grand inspiration in my life. I will now carry in my car, a big fatty marker so that I may add the "and lazy" bit to signs in exchange for my 1-2 dollars. Here's an idea. City reserves a chunk of funding for the Clean-Team. This is a team of about 20-30 people who go around recruiting and supervising homeless while they pick up trash around the city. Of course the recruits will be imbursed (a meager 20 bucks a day or something). We all know those adopt-a-highway or road programs don't do jack for keeping the city clean.

THe Blair has spoken.

LHarmon said...

I think there was a CNN special report on some of these street peddling careers. It was very interesting, but I do not recall percentages or details. It is hard to know, so I end up feeling just like you at the end,... lost and confused.

Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously