While we were out doing our errands, we encountered the urban epidemic – panhandling. Obviously, the reason it has proliferated is because it works. I will on occasion give money to a panhandler. I even have a funny panhandler story to share. When I was trying to get into the matzo ball soup business, I would make many a pot of matzo ball soup so I could take samples to restaurants. My pots were over 20 quarts. After I packaged it into glass quart jars, I would always leave some which I put into plastic three quart containers for the homeless who lived in a park near my house. I had my regulars. One of them set up shop on the freeway exit a few blocks from the house. I was at the light on the exit ramp and he came over to my truck. I handed him a buck. He thanked me and then told me that I needed to cook the carrots and celery more as the were undercooked in the last batch of soup I gave him. The person with me nearly fell out of the truck he was laughing so hard. A homeless, panhandling food critic complaining about a free home cooked meal going for $8.00 a quart at the local high profile deli. What a world, what a world.
Today, when we saw the panhandler, our conversation turned to the level of creativity used in the signs that panhandlers use to solicit handouts. Many profess to be veterans or have a wife and many children to feed. They are looking for sympathy. The public would have no way of knowing if any of their pitch is true or not. Allegedly, some panhandlers make pretty good money and they are running a con, though I am sure many are really down and out. But I came up with some novel copy for a sign – MY WIFE THINKS I’M AN IDIOT, PLEASE HELP. My wife cracked up. Then she suggested that I try it and have someone video it for YouTube, as motorist reactions could make a pretty good comedy reel. And it led to this:
The thought of panhandling is sick,
But this might be a really slick trick.
Though clearly crossing the line
A “my wife thinks I’m an idiot” sign
Should make for some good YouTube shtick!