Monday, December 22, 2008

Panhandling during the Depression of 2008 soon to be 2009

In the past 2 days I've been approached three times by regular looking people who at first seem to want something like directions, or maybe a recommendation to a good restaurant, but then it turns out that they want money.

But the most worrisome approach was being panhandled us as we emerged on Saturday night from Bar on A (or is it Barona?). While he didn't try to chat us up, as has become the new solicitation method, he did very plainly, old school, ask for spare change. The husband was quite taken aback, commenting, "dude, have some pride and don't panhandle people who live in your building." Normally he doesn't use the word dude, but this is what he said, so I record it accurately, as the surprise of being panhandled by our downstairs neighbor turned him temporarily insane.

Interestingly, if he had asked to "borrow" a few dollars, we would have given it to him. Under those circumstances, a few dollars keeps those scary-ish people away for at least 2 years, as they avoid you like the plague, thinking you might ask to get the borrowed amount returned. While this wasn't a technique I was previously familiar with, it turns out to be an area where the husband is a true expert, and has proved to me time and again how well it works, and how easy it is to buy peace.

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