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March 4, 2011 / theoldsilly

Honesty in Panhandling – A Business Prospectus for the Homeless

(Note: Originally published here on Free Spirit in the summer of 2009, this post has gotten so many hits over the past year and a half I made a few tweaks to it and am republishing it for anyone who missed it before and for the re-enjoyment of those who remember it.)


I rarely give handouts to panhandlers, you know, those raggedy looking men standing on the street corner or at a highway exit ramp holding up the dingy cardboard sign with the tired old words on it-

Homeless and Hungry. Please Help. Will Work For Food.

Yeah, right. Will work my butt. Probably – check that – most likely will use any money I give him to buy some cheap wine and/or drugs.

It’s what we honestly think, right? Most of us, most of the time? I’ve sometimes given money to them, I mean a little pang of guilt tugs at my conscience when I just drive by, avoiding eye contact, feeling awkward and selfish in my automobile. But dang it, I have to say my gut tells me they are not being for real with that message scrawled on the sign. And having had some experience living and hanging out on the inner city streets, I know for certain, having gotten it straight from the beggars themselves, that 99 out of 100 of them are using what money they can shame people into giving them to feed their bad habits.

So no, I don’t give. I’m like, get a job or at least get real. Don’t hand me this crap of a line and expect me to believe you. Wasn’t born day before yesterday.

But I live in the boring and uncreative Midwest. A friend who lives in the Big Apple informed me that the homeless out there are very creative, imaginitive, and honest. Yup. Sent me some signs of intelligence and truthfulness captured from the streets of New York. Now these beggars get witty and tell it like it is. Check this one out-

homeless man 2

And how about this guy?

homeless man 4

Here’s another honest individual-

homeless man 6

But my favorite? Here’s a man who deserves his drugs!

homeless man 8

OK I actually have two favorites. Here’s the other one.

Need some computer help?

homeless man 1

I’m going to start a class for the homeless here in SE Michigan. It’ll be called, “Put some Pizazz in your Panhandling.” Won’t charge much for the class, I figure 10% of the increased revenues they’ll earn as a result of my tutoring will be fair enough. If I get several dozen working for me I’ll be doing quite well. Might even expand and franchise the enterprise. Take it national, then global. You can buy your own Panhandler Pimp business for, again, 10% of your gross revenues. My own little pyramid scheme. The first ever Panhandler Pimp Ponzi. You know, this could be huge! And certainly I’ll be doing a great civic service, helping to bring some truth, honestly, creativity and imagination to the streets of first Detroit, then all of America, and eventually the planet.

What’s that? One more? Alright, here’s one last one before ya go-

homeless man 3

Don’t he just make ya wanna to pull over and give him a crisp twenty?

Well allrighty then. Hey chow guys – gotta run, I have a class to prepare for.

Oh wait! Before you go … Stephen Tremp is hosting me today as his guest poster over on Breakthrough Blogs. Please stop over there when you can today, I put together something special for the feature.

Okay, now, toodles for real!


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Leave a Comment
  1. Doris Plaster / Mar 4 2011 7:17 am

    wow… Seems funny, but I have never seen such homeless signs… I am quite surprised, especially the last one.

    It reflects more insanity than anything else! 😀

    Happy Friday, Marvin!


  2. Stephen Tremp / Mar 4 2011 10:04 am

    This is great … I’lll ink back to this on my next Bits and Pieces blog.

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh / Mar 4 2011 10:38 am

    Those are creative!

  4. Arlee Bird / Mar 4 2011 11:39 am

    This year the post is even more relevant than last year.

    Tossing It Out

  5. Stanley Berber / Mar 4 2011 12:03 pm

    Hysterical – AND creative!

  6. tashabud / Mar 4 2011 8:49 pm

    Very funny post, Old Silly. This was first posted in 2009, you say? The franchasing didn’t go through, I suppose? LOL. I’m still laughing at the thought.

    Have a great weekend.

  7. Hilary / Mar 6 2011 3:53 am

    Hi Marvin .. sad but fun thoughts .. I bet you could get some productive work out of many of them and give them their dignity back .. so many are going that way .. Hilary

  8. JOBS WORLD / Mar 6 2011 12:59 pm

    funny and interesting post

  9. Universities / Mar 6 2011 1:56 pm

    Very Funny… I would rather call that html code person and give him work. I have seen there are many people willing to work and some are waiting for the freebies to come…

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