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Wow, the panhandlers in MiniAppleSauce sure are specific. In Knoxville they just sort of say something like, "Hey, boss," and then amble your way in an unnerving manner.
I have no spine when it comes to them. I'm usually most successful when they are thrown off by my compulsive weeping.


I lost my Azia cherry on a date Tuesday night, and it was everything I was told. Mmmm, spanker soup.


When I lived in Detroit. I had a grifter CHASE me because I wouldn't give him a drink from my water bottle. I became very hard there. My Minneapolis friends are always a little stunned to see how aggressive I am with grifters.

It's kind of fun, though. Like telemarketing, except with a higher risk of knife wounds.


When I was growing up, the term was "beggars" and I never saw any, only in books. I do remember my first encounter with one; quite pleasant, actually. I was on my way to work in Minneapolis. He walked up and said, "May I tell you how fine you look today? I'm not going to touch you, I'm not here to scare you." He was wearing clean clothes, kept complimenting me and finally asked for a dollar. He said he was trying to get enough money together for a special dinner that night. I started laughing and gave him the $1, told him it was for the compliment. I even told him I'd give him $1 the next day if he'd come and shower me with compliments. I never saw him again. I'm sure he was "muscled" off the block. Shortly after that I learned that some panhandlers made more money than I did in a day working at a legal job and never gave any to people I saw downtown. I do like to give $$ to the street musicians, they improve the air...


Down in the South, there are a lot of people on the streets who are honestly down on their luck and hungry. I have no problem whatsoever if you want to buy a panhandler down there a burger or something.

But here in the Twin Cities... It's too cold to live the way those folks are living and stay up here. Many of the people panhandling are, as your friend from Detroit pointed out, grifters.

Next time somebody panhandles, let them know where they can find Sharing and Caring hands. They listen to Mary Beth Copeland sermonize for a half-hour on personal responsibility or whatever, and then they get to eat a nice, hot meal. If they need shelter, medical attention, or any of the basics, she can hook them up.

Odds are, they won't take your advice.

If you feel pangs of guilt for not helping them, take the opportunity to whip out the checkbook and throw a little help at one of those charities. You'll do a lot more good that way.

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