Pages

Friday, July 28, 2006

Panhandling Perfected

The ex-boyfriend has been checking in with me periodically. He's been "clean" for about 2 weeks now, and although he continues to struggle with the addiction every day, he claims he's making headway.

Now, before you panic, let me say again that I am strong, there is no trust left, there is no chance of his moving back in with me, or of my helping him financially. However, I also had 6 years with this man, and I know him well. In the past, he's been my best friend. I don't throw people away. I do what I have to do to stay sane, however. That means that I do keep him at a necessary distance.

Anyway, my ex has a marvellous marketing background. He's engaging and winsome. Yup! All the makings of a great con artist (which he is). In his program, he mixes with people from all walks of life: doctors, lawyers, or derelicts. When they come to this place, they've all hit rock bottom.

One of the men in the program is a panhandler. He would stand at street corners with a handmade sign begging for money, saying he was out of work. One day he asked my ex what he was doing wrong. My ex said "If you want to really make some money, you need to change a few things. First, get rid of the fake leg brace and get something smaller. Clean yourself up a little bit, and use a razor. Just make sure that you scrape the razor up a bit so that you don't look entirely clean shaven. Most importantly, get a new sign and write "Need money for booze".

The panhandler did exactly as he was told. The next day he made three times what he normally made in a day.

See? It always pays to hire a marketing consultant.

17 comments:

Ed Abbey said...

Awhile ago, I saw one of the Dateline investigations on television of panhandlers. They videotaped several in LA walking around a corner at the end of the day and hopping in their Mercedes to drive home to their nice house. Evidentily in places, there is alot of money in panhandling.

jsull said...

I would give this cat a dollar.
js

Ellen said...

We had a panhandler that used to hang out with a sign that said: Need money for beer, why lie?

Honesty does pay well in some circles.

Tabasamu said...

Funny story, Saur! :-) You come up with some great ones. I just posted a recipe for onion jam today. Check it out!

mckay said...

dang. maybe i should make a sign:

"need money for kids' college funds"

(will it work better if i don't shave my legs for a day or so?)

Notsocranky Yankee said...

Your ex is definitely a good con man. Be careful!

Edge said...

Maybe I should shave less .... hmmmmm.

~Jef

Senor Caiman said...

Saur,

Very funny.

I keep a big picture sombrero in my office. I never put it on though because I don't want to mess up my hair.

If the Dude were to come to my church we'd probably buy him a house and car.

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Stranger than fiction

Homo Escapeons said...

Know your customers. It pays to study psychographics!

We sure are easy to manipulate aren't we?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Near where I work there is a begger who is smart, shaven and has a sign saying: "Not on drugs, homeless, please help" and sits there reading clever books.

He makes a mint.

Mindless Dribbler said...

Hell, I'd give him a couple of bucks....Honesty is what it's all about.

R2K said...

Lol did the Ex get a cut of the money?

Kathleen said...

Jef said ..."Maybe I should shave less .... hmmmmm."

LOL Maybe I should,too! Just kidding. Things haven't gotten that bad yet! But, Saur, it all starts at forty ... KIDDING. Forties were very good for me!!

Thomas said...

Hello from Seattle.

Herb said...

I knew a panhandler in El Paso that would catch businessmen as they were walking incredibly fast to their very important desinations and say, "Excuse me sir, but do you have ten dollars so I can buy some beer? Please?" They'd invariably give him whatever pocket change they had and he made $75.00 a day.

Badoozie said...

you're not throwing someone away by having good boundaries, you're being healthy, and encouraging that person to be healthy as well