Monday, March 30, 2009

Didn't Work

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post 'And I May Stop Walking, Too': one word solution to your problem: ipod"

Okay, so I tried Anonymous' suggestion this morning. It seemed at first to be working pretty well. The iPod didn't do anything about the cigarette smoke, or dog-doo, or pedestricidal drivers. But at least the music drowned out some of the city din, and having headphones in seemed to dissuade some of the perennial panhandlers from targeting me for cigarette money.

A few blocks from my office, I was striding rapidly along enjoying some James Taylor, namely "Sun on the Moon". Just as the lyrics "More, more, daddy gimme some, gimme some more, more, daddy gimme some more" came on, a guy approached and, using hand motions, indicated that he needed to speak with me. He was pretty well dressed and groomed; I was a bit annoyed to be interrupted, but on the assumption that he needed directions, or something similar, I stopped and took out my headphones.

"Sorry, do you have 35 cents?", he asked.

"No," I answered quite truthfully, "Sorry, I don't have any change." (All I had with my was one $20 bill.) I started to put my headphones back in, thinking that was the end of the interaction, but he continued. Holding out a hand already full of change, he said, "Really, you don't have 35 cents? Because listen, I..."

At that point I didn't give a flying eff what he was about. I walked off.


Blogger hilllady said...

How about making a game of it? Assign points for every panhandler avoided, deduct for every mud puddle splashed in, etc. Bonuses for discovering clever scenic detours or for inventing elaborate stories about the people who try to talk to you. You might as well make the most of it. 'Cause honestly, short drives are no more pleasant. The jerk cuts you off, the light changes, someone wants to wash your window, the bike swerves in front of you, you burn gas, and then you have to park.

3/30/09, 12:19 PM  

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