How much do panhandlers really make? Can you possibly make a living at this? How much of a difference does a funny sign make? Will people give to a guy in a banana suit? Does every sign have to say "God Bless?" Important questions. I aim to find the answers. Give me a dollar. God Bless.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Rating the beggars

No, I'm not making fun of the homeless. Remember, this site started because people were giving ME grief for GIVING to panhandlers. That said, there are some folks that are better at this art form than others, and a little critical analysis can only help as we push our chosen discipline to greater heights.
My friend Frank Robert's will be helping me out here as we look at some panhandlers in action. Frank has a background in fashion having worked for a summer in the boys department of K-Mart. And also he's gay. We've rated according to how much we'd give if we were upper middle class.

Joe: Okay, the black thing is great if you can pull it off, so props for that. But come on man, suffer a little. The white guilt angle, the black solidarity thing, you could be filling that cup right quick but you don't look like you need it. You're wearing a Bill Cosby sweater for crissakes, AND HEADPHONES! The cane is good in theory, but it's a bit too dignified. A crutch with some newspaper wrapped around the armpit cushions would work way better. You just look like someone's grandpa ready to go in and get a refill. Not a Cent.
Frank: I love it. He's retirement age, he deserves to relax. Who is gonna tell a grandpa to get a job? He's dressed just nice enough that they figure he's not a lifer or an addict and they give him a couple bucks. Five Dollars.

Frank: What's going on here? Killing time before the big super bowl party. Will work for cheese whiz, pretzels and oversized foam fingers? Two Dollars.
Joe: I like it. Makes for a cool working class kind of appeal. You can imagine he just got laid off from an assembly line. And if he did, um, sorry dude. Four Dollars.
Joe: This is pathetic. The "Why Lie I Need a Drink" sign, as tired as it is, would be better than this. I'd rather see him stick to a classic than to see such a pathetic attempt at being original. All he did was change the wording a little. No Dollars.
Frank: The pony tail is nice, says he's been at it awhile, also appeals to the yuppie who cut their hair to land a job. I can see them now droppin' a few coins in, "You keep it real for both of us man!" I'm not offended by the sign. Maybe he'll get a few bucks from folks hoping he'll use it to hire a new writer. Three Dollars.
Pony tail? That aint a pony tail. That's a doo rag or something. Black guys don't have pony tails.

Joe: This is The Great Russian Panhandler? No. That's an accordian. He's playing it. That means he's a street musician. A busker. HE'S WORKING! The Russian employee of the month would be more accurate. And the kid angle is pathetic. Oh, look at me. I'm a kid, give me money. I have big sad puppy eyes. Minus Five Dollars.
Frank: The cloths are GREAT. By day, on the streets, he's hopelessly out of fashion. By night, at the clubs, he's totally retro chic with a great sense of irony. I love it. I wonder if he can play any Run DMC on that thing. Five Bright Shiny Silver Dollars.
Joe: Alright, now you're just disagreeing with me to be difficult. Frank get's No Dollars and No Cents. And I was just kidding about him being gay. He's not even gay!

Frank: Uh, business is good eh? You may want to change that "Will work for food" to "Will work for shaving cream. You look needier in that department. Fifty Cents. And while it may be true, I'm not technically gay, I sing along with Shakira and I did just use the phrase "retro-chic."
Joe: He's got a cool smiling Buddah touch. I'd drop him some coins for sure. Four Dollars and Twenty Five Cents.

Look for more soon. And please, Frank ate all my guacamole. If you can spare a couple bucks for avacodo, cilantro, garlic and a squirt of lemon, I'd really appreciate it. God Bless.


Anonymous send a dollar said...

made me laugh

My beg page - send a dollar

9:08 PM

Anonymous massage said...

Great site, it is interesting to see what people do online and what others do in reaction to.

10:09 PM


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