And by “it” I mean someone thinks I’m alive and have at least five dollars. While hunkering down on barbecued shrimp and cheese grits at the Redfish Grill in New Orleans last night, a tweaked out young lady hopped on the stool next to me.
She was really working hard to get me to buy her a drink and dinner, the poor thing. I finally had to shut it down when she told me the thought of blue crab claws has her so excited that her nipples are hard. I gave her my French bread, a few bucks and a clue that she was barking up the wrong tree.
I had become a pretty hard New Yorker when it came to people hustling for money. I know that anything I hand over goes straight to booze or drugs so I never gave a dime. Until a nice couple in Milwaukee changed my mind.
We were sitting near each other at Meyer’s German restaurant enjoying big plates of schnitzel and spaetzle. When a man came in begging, I just looked down and murmured that he should move on. The guy sitting next to me handed him 10 bucks.
Smugly, I told the guy, obviously you’re not from New York City, you fall for those sob stories. That guy is just going to buy a drink with your money. He asked, “That’s fine. So what?”
All of a sudden, I got it. So what? This person is already on the streets and begging. I’m not going to save him by not giving a few bucks. I could’ve actually given him a few moments of pleasure before he went back to his harsh reality. I’m sitting there enjoying an expensive piece of veal and a 48 ounce stein of beer and I’m trying to teach someone a lesson so they could be, what, more like me? Have a drink, man.