Yesterday, I'm at our local dead mall to check for money in my POB, and to my surprise there were other people in the place. Well, it was a Saturday afternoon, and maybe the $2 theater was actually showing something that somebody wanted to see. So as I'm walking past the gumball machines near the exit, there are two boys, around 13 or 14, hanging out on the bench there. They were dressed in current hip-hop fashion, with the shiny new sneakers, so we aren't talking destitute kids here.
As i walk by, one says "excuse, me," and even thoughI could smell his huge wad of gum from ten feet away as soon as he opened his mouth, I acknowledged him, because he at least said "excuse me".
"Do You have a quarter?"
I'm thinking. What is with kids today, if they will stoop to begging from a stranger, while wearing $100 sneakers? If they were truly poor kids, they were poor kids with parents with their priorities out of whack.
I felt like saying "Yes. I have a quarter. Do you have a Mother? Get a quarter from her."
I mean it's not like the kids were standing next to the payphone, looking distraught and needing to call home quickly. I'd gladly loan somebody money for a phonecall if it looked like an emergency, or a stranded kid. I'd even welcome them, perhaps, as a fellow soldier in the war against the pervasive presence of cell phones. But these kids were just lounging by the gumball machines, chewing away at their latex cuds.
I made a judgement call, and said, "No. You'll just throw it all away on Gum."
Somebody needs to teach these kids a lesson.
You don't hang around the dead mall and beg for stray quarters. You go across the highway to the busy mall, and get more volume!
Or you set yourself up a paypal site, and beg electronically.
Donations to help this struggling cartoonist pay off his car insurance this week can be sent to paypal ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
(I'm only wearing $30 sneakers, and they are the same Chuck Taylors I've been wearing for almost a year now. Please help.)