Sympathy is in the Dictionary Somewhere between Shit and Syphilis

The Fresno police arrested a panhandler the other day.  He had $1800 in cash on him. Panhandler’s Take.

There is a lesson to be learned here.  First, this guy is a frequent flier and was arrested several times in the previous weeks.  To me, this means that the cash he had on him was not a long term accumulation.  Business is good.  People tend to dismiss petty theft as petty. It is not what you steal sometimes, it is how often.  

My partner and I were working undercover and had adopted the style of the folks we were hanging with long hair, beards, jeans washed once a month whether they needed to be washed or not.  I was driving a ratty Datsun 280 Z.  We pulled up at a traffic light next to a guy sign, “Homeles will work for Food”. I saw the problem immediately and rolled down my window.  The bum brightened up and started to step of the curb.

I pointed out, “Hey, you misspelled homeless there’s two ss’s.”  The light changed and we went on our way.  My partner maintained that I was an “asshole”.

The next day, the same bum was at the same intersection with the same sign, with this modification, “Homelesswill work for food”.  Now I ask you which benefited the bum more a measly quarter or the new found knowledge that led to the correct spelling of homeless?

The Man With The Twisted Lip of course Sherlock Holmes knew this 120 years ago.