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Bad manners

  1. Oct 20, 2008 #1
    I was in Toronto with my boyfriend heading down to union station when a homeless gentleman steps in front of me and holds out his hand. I searched my pockets and came up empty handed. I looked him in the eye and said "Im sorry, but Ive nothing to spare." When I attempted to go around him he stepped in front of me again and said, "You know how many times I hear 'Im sorry' in a day, it means nothing to me, whats it mean to you huh?" Im sure at this point my boyfriend saw me simmering away and I was about to say something to the effect of "how about sorry you dont have a job and stand out here mooching all day!" but did not get the chance as he grabbed me by the arm and dragged me away saying "time to go" I recognize that many homeless people have mental illness etc, which keep them from working or functioning in society, but I was shocked by how rude he was. I dont spend a tremendous amount of time in the cities, but I have spent enough time to have a little experience with the homeless, and perhaps because I usually give them something, I have never experienced this sort of arrogant attitude before. I guess I expect people who beg to be humble and happy when they are given something for nothing. Has anyone else had a similar experience with the homeless?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2008 #2


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    It is Toronto and he was probably a merchant banker this time last week!
  4. Oct 20, 2008 #3
    To refer to a Bill Hicks quote:

    (Paraphrasing a little here)

    "And they always say "hey buddy, you don't know what it's like to be broke!" Yeah, that's why I have a job."
  5. Oct 20, 2008 #4
    One thing you need to understand about homeless people is that there are tons of places for them to get free food. "Soup kitchens" actually have really good food, and every homeless person knows where they are located. Every dollar you give to a homeless person goes towards alcohol or drugs, sometimes cigarettes, especially if they are approaching you and asking for a hand out. I know because I spent a couple of months homeless once when my girlfriend kicked me out. I never panhandled a cent, but I saw tons of people do it. The homeless have a community of their own and everyone knows everyone else. They all gather together at the soup kitchens every day and that's how they get nourishment. Every penny panhandled is for booze and drugs, never food.
  6. Oct 20, 2008 #5


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    I do not encounter many homeless people, but one paraffin lamp i used to see often was a proper gent, i could talk with him for ages as he knew far more than i did, so i would bung him a fiver with no regrets.
    I have not seen my proper gypsy mate for three years now, he is into old Brit bikes and loves to talk about them, i do miss him him as his tea is the the best ever, i hope he is okay.
    The worst beggars i encountered was in Bolognia, they knew the word for money in every language and would have their hands in your pockets quick as a flash.
  7. Oct 20, 2008 #6
    I bought a homeless guy shoes once. I dont care what they spend it on, once I give it to them its theirs. I just dont like rudeness from someone who is asking me to give him the money Ive worked hard to earn. I was surprised, is it common for them to behave in this manner?
  8. Oct 20, 2008 #7
    It's becoming more common.
    The funny thing about the homeless is that a lot of them are very smart, likable people until you add alcohol or drugs. I'm always amazed when I see how much drugs and alcohol can control a persons life.
  9. Oct 20, 2008 #8
    It ruins your life before you even realize youve got a problem
  10. Oct 20, 2008 #9
    I know a person who on a trip to NYC and saw a homeless person tossing an imaginary coin in the air. This person who is very witty, reached out quickly and snatched the coin away from the homeless person.
    I don't know if this makes you feel any better, but there are ways to retaliate if you can run fast.
  11. Oct 20, 2008 #10
    hahaha while in toronto my dad and I were approached by a junky clearly all drugged up, she ran up to us and in a panic yelled "do you see the birds?" my dad cleverly looked around himself and yelled back "I know! theyre everywhere" The woman went berzerk! she ran off and lord only knows what became of her
  12. Oct 20, 2008 #11
    I saw one guy who was terrified that the helicopters followed him at night with their spotlights. He pointed to one in the sky in said watch it follow me then he took off running down the street. See its following me he yelled. Unfortunately it wasn't a helicopter he was pointing at, it was a star. I said, "Oh my god, it is following you. run down the street again see if it follows you the other way."
  13. Oct 20, 2008 #12
    That must be the fine line. Living in midtown Manhattan, I got so tired of trying to deal with the nuts that I just joined the lot of em.
    Now they cross the street to avoid ME!~
  14. Oct 20, 2008 #13
    They are always there all the time. I went once with my friend at 6 AM they were there and I returned back there at 10 PM .. and they were still there.

    IMO it's a really scary place... too crowdy for me.
  15. Oct 20, 2008 #14
    I like crazy people, the good type at least that don't get too violent, etc.
  16. Oct 21, 2008 #15
    crazy doesnt bother me, I dont like when they follow you around, or get angry when you politely refuse them
  17. Oct 21, 2008 #16
    There's a surefire way to avoid that: Don't politely refuse them. Get rude from the start!
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