On my way home from work today (Sunday… yeah, I know) I passed a rather angry homeless guy. When I first spotted him, he was about a block away. As I walked a few feet closer, he got angry and knocked down a bike that was locked to a street sign. I don’t know what the bike ever did to him, but I should have crossed the street immediately. Sadly, I didn’t and at this point, he spotted me and we made eye contact.
This is where I made my first mistake: 1) DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT. I try to follow this rule when passing questionable folk on the street. I’m not generalizing the homeless here, I’m generalizing the crazies… some are homeless, some aren’t.
Anyways, we made eye contact and that’s when he asked “Do you have any change… I’m homeless and I’M STARVING”. To which I replied “Sorry, I don’t have any money on me”. This was, apparently, not good enough because he took a look at the ipod headphones around my neck and said “how can you NOT have any money, you have a $300 walkman!?”
Technically, it’s the $150 iPod shuffle, but I certainly wasn’t going to get into semantics. So, I just politely stated “Sorry, I don’t carry cash on me”. This was the second mistake I made: 2) DON’T GET INTO A CONVERSATION WITH THE CRAZIES.
My reply to his second statement meant that we were now on speaking terms. And it was his turn to reply… “Don’t lie to me. You have cash.” It was right at this point that I had just passed him on the street and began to pick up my walking speed. Unfortunately, he started to follow me. Oh dear god, he’s following me! He was also yelling things at me like “I’M HOMELESS”, “I’M STARVING”, “GIVE ME YOUR WALKMAN, I CAN SELL THAT”. Ah, city life… don’t you just love it?
For those curious… yes, I did have cash on me. But it was for the half-gallon of milk I needed to buy at the local convenience store. A store that was only a block away from where the angry homeless guy was. And guess where that guy was when I got out of the convenience store? Yep, right at the door. He was going through some trash, so he didn’t see me… thank god, or he would have been PISSED!