Friday, December 28, 2012


Apparently it's the new watchword of NYC's panhandler populace.

Duping the public with bogus sob tales ("It's my birthday and my mother just died!") to rake in a handout is so last year.  Now it's full disclosure!  Transparency!  To snare a few bucks on the streets these days requires ditching the deceitful old-school tactics and reinventing oneself as a purveyor of the truth and nothing but.  Word is out: Admit to your failings and reap the rewards.  After all, who doesn't feel a pang of empathy for a fellow human being owning up to his vices and divulging his demons? 

The candor is at once refreshing...and disarming.  Sure it's a ploy, but one with a cheeky undercurrent (wink-wink) that catches us off-guard, amuses and causes one to pause and consider a donation...which is, after all, the point.  Too often it's too easy to dismiss a beggar by ignoring his or her pleas.  Make us laugh though with a clever bit of wit and, well, by golly Miss Molly, that's worth the trouble of digging into the pocket for some change! 

In ancient Greece, the philosopher Diogenes--who himself lived in poverty and slept in a large stone jar--wandered the streets of Athens, lantern in hand in broad daylight, looking for an honest man.  2500 years later, the search can at long last be called off.  Honesty, it seems, is right in front of our eyes. 

Oh, and in case you're wondering...yes, I did contribute to the beer-food-weed fund.  Why lie?

Sign Of The Times


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