Alarming News

July 29, 2005

Using Bush hatred to sucker people

“Sorry to interrupt, folks. God bless America. I’m a homeless veteran, just got out of the hospital and I’m trying to make it upstate. Because of George Bush, he says he can’t send me home, but he can send troops over to Iraq. So all I can do is ask for your help, since Bush isn’t here to help me. Anything you can contribute would be helpful. I’m just trying to get up to my family,” is a good one to use in New York, Boston, or LA. The majority of the population in these cities have such a negative view of Bush and Iraq, and such a positive view of veterans, family, and anything Anti-Bush, they’d be more willing to contribute a few dollars to your cause. This one’s good for use in subways. Things can take a turn for the worse, however, if you get someone who wants to know your story. If they start saying things like “Where did you serve?” or “I can drive you upstate.” or “Can you believe what Bush is doing with Iraq?”, you’re in for some trouble. Either you can get caught with questions you can’t answer, or you can waste 3 hours waiting for the guy to shutup about Bush. None of these will put any money in your pocket. It’s also good to get your hands on some crutches, camoflauge clothing, and/or go with a day’s stubble.

-From a story on pitches used by homeless people

Via Seldom Sober.

Back when I was a supercool NYC teenager, I would hang out with squatters in Tompkins Square Park in Alphabet City. They were mostly rich kids from Connecticut who couldn’t like deal, man so they would live in empty abandoned buildings back when there were such things in the East Village and beg for money in the street. My friend Mils and I would cut school and hang out with them, fascinated by their blue hair and multiple body piercings. Plus, girls and dogs brought in more money so they were happy to have us around. Some of their lines:

‘Spare some change so I don’t have to eat my dog’
‘Spare some change, I’m saving up for a yacht’
‘Spare some change so I can buy some beer and some pot’ (this one actually worked the best since people seemed to appreciate the honesty).

I remember shopping in the Village with my parents years later and some dirty guy running up to me and saying ‘Karol! It’s me, Wisconsin! How’s it going?’ Still homeless, still begging, my parents were not amused that I knew him. I wonder if he’s using the Bush line these days.