Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A New Home in the Sky - Beggars Belief

Well it turns out that Terry, our ex-SAS/Black Ops/Poundland IL-4 killing machine has not actually rubbed out Spare Change Guy after all. No, the local Police have decided that our town would be heaps better off without any beggars importuning strangers and generally making the place look untidy, so they've rounded them all up.


Spare Change Guy was inoffensive enough, never actually asked for money – unlike that other guy. That other guy who dresses in a suit, has what looks like a corporate ID hanging round his neck and gives out a sob story of being stranded so please could you spare a quid for the phone? Yeah, that guy! Soft-hearted numbskull that I am, I believed him and gave him some money. Next day, I run into him again, playing exactly the same script word for word. It's enough to give beggars a bad name. I suppose I should admire his ingenious use of costume and props, but I'm too small-minded and bitter to do that.

I don't mind begging as such, it's a hard world out there, but I won't be made a fool of. Spare Change Guy was pleasant and friendly and always wished us a good day even if we didn't give him anything (I actually did on a few occasions - soft-hearted numbskull, remember?). But Fake Stranded Guy is just annoying and deceitful, so let's hope the cops swept him up good.

In other news, the word is that we are all to be given a second laptop to do our super-secret IL-4 work on. Niiiiice. I like to walk the three-and-a-half miles to work, so now I'll have to carry two computers on my back.  Plus, the IL-4 laptop has to be kept in a lockable metal box when not in use.  That's going to be heavy and a tad awkward to fit in my backpack, methinks.

Maybe I could hire one of these beggars to be my porter.  Not Fake Stranded Guy though.  No job for him, the toe-rag.


  1. And there was I thinking that the beggar in the suit would turn out to be one of our newly electeds, asking us all nicely to please get off his back and find our own living amongst the rubbish heaps left of what was the economy.
    But yours sounds just as toe-raggy as mine.

  2. Just the other day I was watching a show about how the SAS train. Best to keep on the good side of those types! Sorry about the extra burden you will be bearing to work. My point? Oh, yes, the other year in a Washington, D.C. metro (tube) station, my wife and I were approached by the "suit" type of beggar...saying he had locked his keys in his car, his service was coming to unlock it, and he needed cash to pay them. I gave him two dollars and he actually got mad that I was so cheap! We were there on a research trip, cash-strapped, so he was lucky to get that much, and since when did beggars get to be choosers? I don't mind spare change guys, generally...just the con artists.

  3. Hey CL - was that the same trip where you took a picture of me & the guy sitting at a table in the background asked us for money because we took his picture? Sheesh!

    Argent - you need a rolley cart thing - or, I know - a jogging stroller, only with laptops intsead of babies in it.

  4. Same guy, Bug! He saw me take a pic of you (when we developed the film, he WAS in it), then came up to mooch. Sheesh is right! What's really funny is that we're in the same room, yet I feel the need to send my answer around the globe :-)

  5. Toe rags! Eech!
    we've got a whole gang of such beings, each with a mangy dog, who beg regularly while swilling cheap beer right across from the construction site where they throw the empties. Quite a pile! That much money for booze, they could get proper clothes and a bit of soap instead.

  6. the best way to annoy fake stranded guy, especially fake stranded guy wanting change for the bus, is - if you are near the station, offer to walk to the bus with him and pay the driver directly.

    I do tend to think that people asking for change should be doing something - ie selling big issue, playing an instrument, somehow earning it - but in our fair city one has to audition first before one can busk, so Crap Busker Guy is, sadly, a thing of the past

    My favourite of all time still remains the Mad Bee Gees Fan of which i have oft spoken - not sure if i've ever posted his tale tho...

  7. I know exactly what you mean. I usually offer to buy our local guy a a bacon butty and a cup of tea. The "genuine" ones always accept the offer.
    Great post.

  8. Friko - the guy in the suit might have been one of our newly-electeds, trying to supplement his income now that everyone's watching the old expenses claims.

    CL - You have suit-beggars over there, too? It must be a global franchise!

    Bug - My boos has suggested the trolley-thing. Over here, only little old ladies have these and they are all identical tartan with killer wheels that roman charioteers would have blanched at.

    CL - LOL, I have been known to communicate via the interweb with someone sitting right next to me at work.

    NanU - We have the mangy-dog-on-a-string beggars here too and, yes, they smoke and drink which must cost money. Another franchise?

    DFTP - Yeah, we also have Accordion Guy, who plays nicely. Technically a busker, I suppose, since he is at least entertaining us for his pennies. I forgot tomention that FSG, when I at first refused him any money, started to ask for a load of my phone to call instead. Like I was going to hand over my phone to a total stranger!

    Gwei - Your solution is a good one. I may try it in the future - assuming any of our beggars return to us.

    Thanks for sharing your stories guys.

  9. I remember Fake Stranded Guy - he used to wander round Manchester's Oxford Road in 1977. He must be getting on now. :)

  10. Hehe, I think he's handed down the business to his son, maybe.


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