Yard Sale Score

In SF last night on the way to see Hedwig again with friends (show closes May 11 and is tremendously entertaining — GO!) and passed a guy with random wares spread out on the sidewalk in one of those makeshift yard sales. Amongst the usual raft of items: twine, coverless book, rabbit’s foot, pen stolen from the bank with chain still attached, was a shiny new… AOL 7.0 CD. Yup, for sale. The entrepreneurial spirit runs high. I wondered how much he got for it.

Music: Clem Snide :: Lets Explode (Master Cylinder)

7 Replies to “Yard Sale Score”

  1. Sounds kinda like India (the pen, I mean).

    But at least here, when beggars do make an earnest effort to make a living, they’re actually selling something mostly reasonable.

    Everybody in this country is an entrepreneur – probably how the country has survived even despite 50% of people in major cities living below the poverty line.

    Mind you, give that guy credit, at least he wasn’t begging (I’d rather buy something useless from a beggar who tries, than throw money at one who doesn’t).

    Kristan

  2. Amen to that. I give money to people selling Street Spirit, people playing terrible guitar… but almost never to just plain beggars.

    You got to put a leetle EFFort.

  3. I try to set aside some money each week to give away…. Even in my current state of unemployment I try to have 5-10 bucks a week to spot people (whether I know them or not). I guess I have some naive karmic “the money will come back to me when I need it” view.

    Anyway, I have been known to throw some change the way of a beggar, but usually only if they are pleasant or kind (or at least not mean).

    The other night I was walking to the 7-11 with my roommate Rory, when this woman asked us for some change. I said to her “Maybe on the way back” (which I sometimes use as a deflection, but this time I simply wasn’t carrying any change).

    She responded: “What, am I supposed to wait here all night???”… I got really pissed off and replied “Well go fuck yourself then, if you can’t wait then I have nothing to give you” and walked on.

    When I got to the store there is this nice man, Dean, who stands at the door opening it for people and says hello to them. He’s always pleasant, and just seems like a nice guy. So I had like .95 cents on my way out and gave it to him… Now that I think about it, while he has a coffee cup out, I don’t know if he ever actually asks for change…

    So the moral of this story? Hell, I don’t know, I just was pissed off by that lady. :)

  4. The interesting thing about India is that some beggars seem to want to pick and choose who they beg from.

    It is now tourist season in the Hill Station where I live. Next to my bedroom are the sprawling grounds of the Ooty Botanical Garden where honeymooners have their only chance to hold hands before returning to a much more conservative family life where they’ll share a house with probably 3 other families.

    Many come, it is also flower season, so the family tourists and movie stars also arrive.

    But so do beggars from the plains, seeking more pleasant climates (it is summer here and unbearable on the plains) and heavier wallets.

    But, I know who are the local beggars and who are the lifestyle beggars. Many of the new ones will ignore Indian tourists in front of me, shout loudly (and quite rudely sometimes) at me in Tamil to give them money, and then again ignore the rich Indian tourists behind me.

    Because I’m white, I am assumed to have founts of wealth. I give to those who don’t pick and choose who they beg from – those who can pick and choose just aren’t needy comparatively. Also, I actually earn next to nothing here especially compare with those who can afford to travel up here for a holiday.

    Hrmm.. I wrote a lot.. but I feel it is an insight I’ve gained whilst living in India.

  5. On the topic of earmarking a handout for food rather than for drugs or alcohol, some friends recently said they felt it was rude to tell a beggar what they can or cannot spend it on.

    I can sort of see their point, but also feel that drugs and/or alcohol probably have a lot to do with the reason they’re on the street to begin with, and no way am I going to enable that behavior.

  6. I can sort of see their point, but also feel that drugs and/or alcohol probably have a lot to do with the reason they’re on the street to begin with, and no way am I going to enable that behavior.

    I kinda expect that 90% of the time the person I give money too will spend it on “less than savory” things… What really cheeses my goat is when I see someone I give money too spending it on lottery tickets…

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