The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

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asthmatic camel
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The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

Post by asthmatic camel » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:16 am

How to begin?

OK. According to this Wiki Link, my annual income is about 23% of the UK average, roughly £10,000 per annum, or just over £200/$250 per week. After I've paid the bills, put aside cash to keep Mrs. Camel's car on the road, stashed some cash to try and ensure a comfortable old age and put away enough to keep the house in good repair, I'm left with £50 a week to feed us and pay for other necessities like toothpaste and deodorant.

Buying the best bargains in town and cooking myself, I can feed us both quite well on £25 per week, which leaves me £25 for luxuries. Like a new inner tube for my Fag-o-Cycle at £2.50.

Which, (forgive my digression), brings me back to to the topic.

One of my few luxuries is to stop at McDonald's near Manchester University, 2/3ds of the way through my early hours 20-mile bike ride for a coffee. (£1.99 for a large white or £2.29 for a large cappuccino if I'm feeling rich.) So, in I pop at around 2.30 AM, order my brew, head outside to sit at their chained-up tables and chairs in an attempt to quietly drink it, accompanied by a tiny rolled-up cigarette whilst listening to the BBC World Service on my £5 portable radio.

Not a lot to ask, is it? A little peace and quiet while attempting to keep my weary old body in some sort of shape and avoid adding to the National Health Service's bills?

Is it possible? No, it is not.

"Got some spare change, Mister?"

"No."

"I'm Homeless, can you go to the cash machine round the corner and get me a tenner?"

"No."

"You're a horrible man."

"I'm not a horrible man, I haven't got any money, now leave me alone."

And, last night, some drunk, Polish tramp, half my size, who'd been harassing various harmless people, nicked my cycling gloves and yelled, so far as I could understand him, "You're not getting these back unless you give me money."

Enough was enough.



Well, I didn't go quite that far, but I got my gloves back.

Anyway, this got me thinking. I never give money to beggars because they normally spend it on drink and drugs, or are already housed and are just scammers. Perhaps there's a better way to help the genuinely homeless? Thinks I.

Shelter, perhaps, the UK charity for the homeless.

Well, as the charity's CEO, Polly Neate, is paid in excess of £120,000 per annum, ten times my annual income, I think not.

In future my strategy will be to carry a couple of peanut butter and marmite sandwiches with me, total cost around £0.30. If I can survive on them, so can they.

:roll:
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

Post by Pyrrho » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:11 am

On my drive home there is a highway underpass where some people often pace the sidewalk carrying crappy cardboard signs reading "HOMELESS WILL WORK" and "HEARING IMPAIRED, HAVE KIDS" generally looking like the dregs of humanity. I do not make eye contact. No way am I going to open a window to pass them some money when my car is stuck waiting for the traffic light to change. Some people do, however. Next to the overpass bridge pilings an observant person will note the McDonalds bags and Starbucks cups. They have a little spot where there's a concrete wall just above the rip-rap, shaded by some trees, where they sit. Nice little spot in summer. When the foliage is gone in autumn and winter, you can see the burgeoning pile of discarded Starbucks cups and other trash they've left there. Money? My only passing impulse is to give them a box of trash bags. "Here! You say you'll work? Clean up that mess you left over there!"

But nope! I'm not opening my window for panhandlers.
The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.

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Rob Lister
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Re: The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

Post by Rob Lister » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:28 am

Ball up a bill and throw it in traffic. Gotta make 'em work for it.

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Re: The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

Post by Pyrrho » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:41 am

They have a crew. Different panhandlers on different days, same underpass.

One guy I used to know, working in downtown Cleveland, would yell, "Hey! I'm workin' this side of the street!" whenever he was panhandled.
The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.

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asthmatic camel
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Re: The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

Post by asthmatic camel » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:26 am

All joking aside, I really do care about those who are genuinely in need. Back in the day when I was running a pub, my chef came up with the idea of running a mobile soup kitchen to feed the folks sleeping rough and we got it together. :) Two or three times a week we'd cook up a load of cheap but nourishing grub, borrow a van from one of the regular customers and drive around Manchester in the small hours handing out trays of chilli and potato hash to any who wanted it. (I doubt that many would try to make a living by sleeping rough during a Manchester winter; even we were freezing our nuts off.)

So, how can I be sure that I'm helping those genuinely in need nowadays, when the supposed "charities" are paying their staff six-figure salaries?
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:24 pm

Just don't give anything at at all.

Maybe an exception for someone you know personally.

Enlightenment means not caring. :)
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shuize
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Re: The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

Post by shuize » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:29 pm

asthmatic camel wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:26 am
All joking aside, I really do care about those who are genuinely in need. Back in the day when I was running a pub, my chef came up with the idea of running a mobile soup kitchen to feed the folks sleeping rough and we got it together. :) Two or three times a week we'd cook up a load of cheap but nourishing grub, borrow a van from one of the regular customers and drive around Manchester in the small hours handing out trays of chilli and potato hash to any who wanted it. (I doubt that many would try to make a living by sleeping rough during a Manchester winter; even we were freezing our nuts off.)

So, how can I be sure that I'm helping those genuinely in need nowadays, when the supposed "charities" are paying their staff six-figure salaries?

My time in the public defender's office goes a long way to convince me that I've done my share.

If you've run a food van, you've done more. You and your wife are living on £50/week. Seriously, enjoy your cappuccino. You've done your part.

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asthmatic camel
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Re: The Tramps, Junkies, Beggars and Charities Thread

Post by asthmatic camel » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:58 pm

I suppose I could offer to run Shelter for £12,000 a year, a tenth of what Polly Neate is on and £2000 a year more than I get now. Hell, she's on four times what a fully qualified charge nurse, who actually gets his/her hands dirty, working all hours, earns over here. I can't find out too many details about her other than that she was a journalist who jumped on the "charity" bandwagon. I'll wager my £50 a week that I'm better qualified than she to run a major organisation.

Charity?

My skinny, hairy arse.
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.