Sunday, July 12, 2009

Once upon a time, in your prime you threw the bums a dime Didn't you?
It being Sunday morning, it was again my day to spend some time with my elderly mother by taking her to church, followed by lunch. Today, as usual, we dined at the Piccadilly Cafeteria. I had the white meat fried chicken, she the chicken and dumplings. Upon leaving this noble establishment I was approached by a rather scruffy looking guy on one crutch asking for money to buy a meal at the nearby Burger King. Not having a single dime or dollar in my pocket, the church collection plate and follow-up children's fund having fleeced me of every single type of coin of the realm I had on me, I said, "Sorry pal, but I don't have a dime on me." He persisted. Could be he wanted my mom's go-plate I was carrying but I didn't feel like it was mine to give away. After all, it was mom's dinner. I usually give a bum a dollar whenever asked, but not this time. I shushed him away. Driving out of the parking lot I saw him joined by a partner who was carrying a plastic shopping bag full of stuff at least some of which I could recognize as a six-pack of beer. It seems the church wasn't the only thing trying to fleece me today. I was once at a party and ran into a guy who had graduated high school with several of my friends at the party and there was much ado because no one had seen him in quite some time. He was an affable fellow so I engaged him in conversation during which I found that right out of high school he'd decided that he wanted to see the country and simply packed a duffel and took off. He told me he paid for his adventure by panhandling at bus stations. He would simply walk up to people, give them some sort of bull shit line and ask for a dollar, He said he usually got it. Incredulous, I asked him how much money can you make panhandling? He replied he made about $30,000 that year. Now this was in the late '70s or so, which, in today's dollars, would be the equivalent of $50-$60,000 a year, tax free. I've recently been informed that I am about to become one of the millions of Americans whose jobs have been eliminated. Maybe I should start hanging out at Piccadilly.


  1. Bless Your Heart Mr. Charleston for taking your Mama out to Sunday dinner at the Picadilly...I love the carrot souffle there as well as the salmon croquettes.

    Sorry about the job thing. I've found unfortunately that I am in fact unemployable.

  2. 'tis a chosen way of life for the "bum".. whether he portrays himself as a crusty street-person, or a traveler of the country... your high school bud was (probably is) a sly one.

    Good luck with the job situation.
    You're a good son. Truly.

  3. I was VERY good at panhandling, always used a line of patter and humor. I didn't do it often, mostly just for shits and giggles. A couple of bucks that I usually bought food with for the back pack community to share. This was back in the 70's too.

    Are you going to be able to weather this maelstrom that is not done with the nation yet?

  4. When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
    You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

  5. Peach, as always, good to hear from you. Unemployable? Hope it's because you're such a tart. Still want to hear your ghost story.

    Barbara, thanks for visiting. I like you blog and will be back.

    WM.. I'll bet you really were a good panhandler given your way with words and all. I might be too if I had the nerve.

    Brother Punch... amen.

    To everyone, really appreciate the job concern. It'll end up another story. Fighting with the state over unemployment as they denied my claim saying I worked for a church when, in fact, I was employed by a private day school. However, I guess I can't complain too loudly as I'm not yet really unemployed. I'm currently hired as a consultant by the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate writing a couple of big grants for them. Working as a fundraising consultant saw me through one big recession, maybe it will see me through this one as well. But a steady income would be nice.

  6. Mr. Charleston....sending good thoughts your way about the job sounds like you have a temporary fall back position

  7. Yeup that same shit happened to my old lady when she lost her job with the motherfucking Salvation Army which in this area decided it was more profitable for their non profit to only pay un-employment insurance for the colonels and their families who never would lose a job to collect on.

  8. Tell it WM... tell me there's such a thing as separation of church and state.

    Thanks Peach, I can feel the vibes.

  9. hey I just noticed the new header mean to say I am the only ass showing here Mr. C? Hers was much nicer to look at!

  10. Sorry to hear this news C.

    I am not clear on the state bull crap about working for a church. What the deuce difference does WHERE you work make? If one is unemployed...well, one is unemployed.

    Thinking good thoughts for you bro.

  11. jadedj...federal law says non-profits have no obligation to pay into state unemployment ins. funds because of the Separation of Church and state clause.

    Which is bullshit. Take the Salvation Army and their thrift stores as just one example, all of their product is donated so the mark up is 100% profit. The 6 billion Mrs. Croc donated at her death; totally untaxed.

    All of their rehab clients are signed up for whatever government assistance they can qualify them for and then that food stamp or money is taken from the client and given over to the SA budget.

    My wife got fired because as the accounts payable/receivable clerk her anal retentive attitude towards record keeping made the defrocked (but still subsidized because he generated millions in income) colonel nervous. She accidentally just by doing her job tracked the thievery.

    For example they were issuing themselves payroll statements that said the SA contributed $50 to their individual IRA's but had the organization actually putting in hundreds per month. Pay offs and favors to the board members whose companies were also suppliers, she documented as the normal course of doing her job but they wanted paid out of undocumented funds...

    naw man it ain't your grand dads charitable non profit out there any more.

    A lot of them do good but the biggest of them are as greedy as any wall street bank.

  12. Walking Man... you partly right. Most non-profits pay unemployment etc. only religious affiliated non-profits are exempt. If you wife still has any evidence, even if she doesn't, shit man, don't call the police, call the New York Times. There ain't nothing makes these pricks stick their heads in the sand faster than a reporter. Their audits and IRS filing papers are public record. If there's something there, let the Times sniff it out and blow the lid.

    Thanks for the support JJ. Hopefully I can turn this consulting gig into a full-time job. Then I get to spend every day in the hood. Gracious, I guess I'll be the first to abandon my case for use of the N word.


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