Monday, June 12, 2006

My Brief Career as a Panhandler

My Saturday morning began wicked supah early as The Bambina arose and shone at 6:35am. Nice. She always seems to know it's a Saturday and, therefore, a full day of fun and games. Kill me now.

As I was attempting to leave to go get groceries, etc, while she spent quality time with the Baby Daddy, I managed to forget not only my house keys but my cell phone as well. Kill me now.

I didn't realize that I had forgotten said keys until all of the groceries were unloaded and on my front porch. I knocked on my next door neighbor's door to retrieve my extra key from them, only to find them not at home. Kill me now.

So I ended up driving to a Seven-Eleven to use a payphone to call said Baby Daddy to get keys. Me. At a Seven-Eleven. At the PAYPHONES at a Seven-Eleven. With the aggressive panhandlers and, as we call them, "the dudes" who seem to have nowhere to be, ever, except hanging out talking in front of small convenience food item purveyors. Need I say it? Kill me now.

So I parked the car, having left my groceries on my porch and hoping that random thieves wouldn't get too psyched for Haggis gourmet items such as 8th Continent soy milk and baby bok choy. I walked over to the payphones, steeling myself to run the Dude Gauntlet, and found to my shock, dismay and horror that local calls now cost 50 cents--and I had on me but one single quarter. WHAT?!!! Have I been cellular for so long that I missed the massive payphone price hike?! Fifty cents to call 6 blocks from home!? Aw crap. Now the ice cream is definitely going to be milk shake. Kill me now.

So I was standing there when a dude came up to me and asked for a quarter just as I was muttering under my breath to no one in particular, McEnroe-style, "You CANNOT be f'ing serious!! Fifty cents??! What the F?!" And finally I had the best moment of my entire day: I looked back at him and said, "Actually, I need to borrow a quarter from YOU."

He looked at me blankly then backed away slowly, no doubt absorbing the lesson I follow every day: Probably best to not engage with a visibly irritated person more in need of spare change than you are.

No comments: