The Panhandler Problem…
When you encounter panhandlers, you have two bad choices: Either you ignore them and feel like a heel, or you give them money and feel like a sap. The trick is to not give them money but not feel guilty about it. Here are some suggestions.
When panhandlers walk toward you with a sign that says, “Need money for food,” hold up your own sign that says, “Need money for panhandlers.”
Tell the panhandlers you’ll give them money if they give you a receipt. (They’ll think you’re the crazy one and back away.)
Tell them you gave at the previous intersection.
Tell them that you only give to panhandlers who are truly starving, so ask for their height and weight in order to calculate their Body Mass Index.
Tell them you’d like to give them money but your therapist told you to stop being an enabler.
Tell them that their technique is all wrong. Suggest that they buy the book, Panhandling for Dummies.
Of course, there are times when you should give panhandlers money, such as when they have really clever signs. My favorite is “Help Fight Hobophobia.”
Famous To-do Lists
- Discover at least one secret of the universe before lunch.
- Get haircut.
- Rehearse extemporaneous Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
- Give two-weeks’ notice to Swiss patent office.
- Feed Schrödinger’scat. (Be careful opening cat-box.)
- Valentine’s Day. Flowers for odd-numbered wives; candy for even-numbered ones.
- Attend “Pillage and Plundering” seminar Tuesday night .
- Get extra sunscreen for invasion of Italy.
- RSVP for Friday night gorgefest.
- Trademark “Scourge of God” nickname