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.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I'm Mentioned In A Pittsburgh Newspaper

A newspaper in Pittsburgh mentions me in an aritcle about panhandling and anti-panhandling laws. It's a pretty good article. Read it here.

And speaking of panhandling laws, it probably goes without saying that I am against them. It's bad enough the cops will move you along if you try to play your guitar on the street, a pretty basic expression of freedom one would think. As much as they'd like to they have not yet found a way to tell people that they can't ask others for spare change. That damned free speech thing gets in the way. Many cities are continuing in their efforts to get such laws on the books.

Some may wish to point out that it's aggressive panhandling that most of these laws target, but why mention panhandling at all. Many of the most aggressive people I've dealt with did not want a buck from me. They were drunk sports fans. Yet my efforts to have sporting events outlawed gets met with resistance. Make laws that deal with aggressive public behavior period. Specify panhandling and the defintion of aggressive will get stretched. If you punish all panhandlers because of the aggressive ones you'll have to go after all postal workers next.

As for me I will continue my non-aggressive panhandling online and off. Now You Better Give Me Two Dollars. C'mon, Hand It Over. Two Bucks. Don't Say You Aint Got It! Give It Here Ya Weiner! Yeah That's Right I Said Weiner. You're Probably A Graduate Of Weinerville High School. Now Give Me Two Bucks Before I Type Some REAL Obscenities. God Bless.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should live in San Francisco awhile. I left Sac. in the 80's and have lived here with the parkdwellers, panhandlers, wandering mental patients, transgender prostitutes, drunken sidewalk sleepers, crackheads, screaming bus riders, non-homeless public urinators and all sorts of interesting things on all of these streets for many years now. It might change your perspective a bit, especially when your rent is atleast twice as much as in Sacto. I'm not saying these panhandling laws are GOOD or any sort of answer to the problem- just thought I'd add another perspective. It's sad, frustrating and oppressive to live in such an amazing city that you can't always feel safe in or walk anyplace without smelling urine. Everyone I know has their car broken into on a regular basis. I'm sure this latter thing is connected to users needing stuff to sell for their fix...

7:39 PM

 
Blogger thepanhandler said...

I hear you, and I have had extended stays in SF, for 8 weeks or more. I still contend that you only make the problem worse by taking away their ability to ask for assistance. Bust people for breaking into cars, being agressive or threatening, etc, sure. But I knew a-lot of peacefull, even pleasant panhandlers and buskers in SF who have as much right to ask for a buck as you have to give 'em one, or not to.
I remember having the worse time working on Haight as a promoter. There's nowhere to PEE! The coffee shops made me buy somthing. The more I bought, the more I had to pee, the more I had to pee the more I had to buy. It was a vicious cycle.
It'll be interesting to see what happen's to your wonderful city in the next few years. They are proposing (or have they moved on to enacting) cuts to much of the benefits that the homeless were getting, and offering them bus tickets to whereever they claim to be from. I can't say I blame SF for wanting to become slightly less attractive to the homeless, they have been a magnet for sometime. And I have known many homeless kids in SF and in Seattle who were doing it just to have a bit of adventure. in their early twenties. I even consider joining them, but I was having more fun working for Spike and Mike's animation Festival, rolling from town to town.
Thanks for you comments.

11:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just how old is that picture of you and the cop? $2.29 a gal for gas??? Or are they selling it by the pint now?

2:20 AM

 
Blogger thepanhandler said...

That was just a couple of months ago. Crazy isn't it?

6:16 AM

 

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