Monday, August 14, 2006

Tiny Hobos

I'd like to know when it became acceptable for children to become panhandlers.

Driving to and from work, I notice a plethora of small children, standing on the side of the road at busy intersections with jars and signs, begging for money.
Their little handmade signs usually say something like "Help us go to the State Champs" but it's sometimes hard to read because they are handwritten by 7 yr olds.
A lot of times I see them with an adult or two but sometimes not.
What parents are letting their kids beg for money on the roadsides like hobos?
When did it become ok to raise money in this fashion?

When I was in extra-curricular activities and needed to raise money for trips we had bake sales, car washes, garage sales, candy sales, etc.
We NEVER begged for money at highway intersections.
I know my parents would never had allowed it and I can't imagine any of my friends' parents allowing it.
Why is it standard fund-raising procedure now?

1. It's dangerous. You're in a busy intersection literally INCHES away from the highway, one wrong step, one out of control car and you're toast.
2. IT'S BEGGING. You are no different from the homeless man holding the cardboard sign that says "Hungry, homeless vet."
You're asking people to put money in your jar without earning it. You're not even willing to work for it. You are now simply a hobo. A State Champion Hobo.

I imagine the homeless people are getting pissed off. Here are all these suburban kids taking over their turf. I assure you that hobo was there before you, kid.
There is one homeless dude that stands on the corner of an intersection of a major highway that I cross everyday.
He likes to change it up a little. I think he might be an out of work actor because he has many different characters.
One day he's a homeless veteran with a very pronounced limp. When the light turns red, he'll even limp around in circles for you, like a handicapped monkey. Then the next day he's got his arm in a dirty sling.
Friday morning, I noticed he was wearing an eye patch.
See, kids, this hobo has a gimic, a schtick. He's not just panhandling, he's ENTERTAINING.

I don't give him any money either but I appreciate his efforts all the same.

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