Ok I understand that there has always been and probably always will be beggars, or panhandlers if you wish to call them that, on the streets of a big city like Toronto. That is assuming we don't legislate them off the streets.
Now in some cases I actually have a heart (surprise, surprise) and may give someone a few coins but in a lot of the cases you know they are just looking to get that quick fix of drugs or alcohol and I am definitely not supporting their habit. Also you have the ones who are just out to con you like the "shaky lady" who was just the epitome of sad sitting on the sidewalk,tugging on ya heart strings, doing the St Vitus dance (Sydenham's Chorea) and when ya hear the shout the woman stop shaking and was able to hire a big Bay Street lawyer to go after the tv station who accused her of being a fraud. I tell ya!
So to keep it simple if you catch me on a good day I may give you a few cents but if I'm suspicious of you, and I'm a very suspicious person, then you are not getting a red cent from me. If your shoes better than mine, doan ask me for a dime, if ya look high, I walking by and if ya smell of alcohol , lata fa all y'all . That rhymed in case ya didn't notice:-)
Anyway the point of today's ramble is not to go off on beggars. As the saying goes beggars cannot be choosers. Unfortunately in North America beggars are part and parcel of city life and I actually feel sorry for some of them because I don't think that anyone wants to be on the streets doing that or at least a lot of them don't.
No, my beef today is with the newer street people. The kids whose schools put them out in front of stores to harass you for money for their fundraising attempts and the guys who are raising money for Greenpeace, the Humane Society and a whole host of other organizations. I know this is going to sound heartless but those people just get on my last nerve.
First the kids. I ant that mad at y'all. Well I am but not really. The way I see it, the Governments and funding agencies have cut back your school budgets and the schools are forced to get creative in their fundraising activities. Somewhere along the line some smart or stupid (I haven't decided yet) teacher probably said 'hey no one can resist a cute kid on the street. Lets send them all out with chocolate to beg for money."
Now what the teacher didn't realize was that one kid occasionally can be cute, kids at every other corner interrupting your journey with "please sir can you support me by buying these chocolate almonds for basketball camp, going to the museum or insert other great school cause here" hmmmm definitely not as cute. Its akin to tha whole 'Are we there yet" thing you see kids on tv annoy their parents with. After the first time, it just gets old, tired and annoying.
Another thing to think about is why is it that the only thing these kids can sell is chocolate? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm a chocoholic so they might catch me every now and then with that marketing scheme but is there a secret backroom deal between the schools and the chocolate producers to get us addicted to their product? Well kiddies let me break it down for you. It goes like this. I support you by buying your chocolate, I eat your chocolate which then makes me fat and starts me on a path towards diabetes and a host of other health issues. Now the government must put more money into health care meaning? Yes, less for Education. Which means what? You kids have to hit the streets even harder to sell those chocolate bars. Comprende! You're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.
Ok I dun wid dat. On to the worst of the lot. The street tele-marketers I call them since its the same premise. What ever happened to interrupting me when I'm at home at night relaxing trying to get a bite to eat. You mean that wasn't satisfying enough for them? Did they sit around and say well we annoy him at home but now with call display we aren't as effective as we used to be and we're feeling somewhat unfulfilled so lets change the game. Lets take it to the next level! Lets take it to the streets!
So what did they do? They now interrupt me as I'm walking along, trying to get me to subscribe to some charity or some other thing I am not interested in. Sure Greenpeace is a great organization .....but not when you are stopped by two or three of its representatives on the street as you try to head to lunch every single blessed day. And don't get me started on the Humane Society folk. If they only know how many big rocks I throw at fowls and dogs and cats when I was a youngster they would know better than to approach me about money for animals. In fact they would see me as public enemy number one.