So that's how to get rid of beggars targeting you!
No matter how kindhearted you are, at some point you feel abused by beggars expecting you to just give your very hard earned cash away to them. But, remember the Chinese finger trap?
So that's how to get rid of beggars targeting you!
I have just waited in line for what could easily be 90 minutes at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Bad choice to go there on a Friday evening.
And in all that time waiting, I got so hungry that I bought a "Variety Feast". It's chicken, chips, burger, wrap, and... can't remember what else. Might be all. But the cost was R100. Why in blazes I just spent R100 on Kentucky Fried Chicken, for me myself only, is still something I'm trying to process, but I think it had something to do with getting very, very hungry waiting all that time. So I bought enough food for four or six people, and I'm going to eat it all. Probably will be my food for this entire weekend.
So, I finally get in the car. Shall I eat a bit now, or shall I first go onto the highway and then put the cruise control on while I can dine? Naah, I'm not going to wait. Better have a bit of food now.
Out of the night, I see him.... some figure walking towards me. He must have seen me get into the car and now he's walking over. It's either a robber or a beggar. Some middle aged black man wearing dirty blankety clothes.
Expecting him to come to the driver window, I quickly gather my thoughts on how to handle this guy. It's a bit mean of a beggar to come beg when he sees I've just gotten myself a delicious dinner. But anyway, for some reason I decide I'm not going to be hostile. Why not help a poor guy who, like beggars do, always pretend like they want to just have a chat, when really they just want to prime you for their ever-same punchline of "Oh, you think you can help me with what I just talked about?", which means he wants money?
Oh, and I have a bit of cash to spare, I'm sure of it. Where's my wallet again? Oh right, in my pants pocket. Let me be kind tonight.
I'm not always in the mood to be kind, especially when it seems there's another beggar ready to take more of your money after you've just helped the one before him/her. But I always believed humans are there to make life happier for each other. Many people forget that and don't care to remember that. But I shall remember it tonight. Ok, here he comes! So glad I have the opportunity to be kind.
The guy walks right up to the window, but I don't know if when he saw me close-up he lost his nerve or what, because at the last moment, he walks on by and go stands against the wall of the building.
Maybe I judged him wrongly. Maybe he wasn't a beggar looking for me to give him money after all. I'll just enjoy my cancer inducing Kentucky Fried Chicken food while it's still hot.
Our caricature seems to stare over at the road, talking to someone, waving wildly with his hands. I look over at the road. There's no-one there.
But now I notice, from time to time he does glance in my direction. And although the car doors and windows are closed, I can feintly hear the guy is talking all the way.
"....so I can go eat ... at the café...", I can make out some of his words, but not much.
Oh, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this guy does want to ask for some money so he can go eat. I was pretty willing before to give him some money, but then he didn't come ask for it. But let me open the window and I can hear what he's saying.
Today however, because Waldorf went to the Land Of The West with the car I usually take to town, I am here with Father's Land Rover. I'm not quite familiar with it yet; especially on how to turn it on just enough to open the electric windows - this car has no key to turn and no ignition. There's just a start button on the dashboard, but that turns the car on completely.
So, I push that button so the car can turn on, so I can open the electric windows and ask this guy what he's saying.
As soon as I push the button, the car roars to a start and the lights also automatically switch on at the same time.
Our beggar jumps a bit with fright at the sudden roar of the engine and the lights shining straight in his face. He almost stumbles backwards, probably thinking for a moment he was being run over.
I open the window a bit and call out to him friendlylike, "What is it you're saying Oudste?"
Tonight I'm going to help this guy to have a bit of a happier night. Maybe I'll even give him some of this huge bag of Kentucky Fried Chicken food that is far too much for one person. I think it's meant for an entire family of at least four or six people. Won't this guy love a bit of hot food now. He sure seems like it.
He didn't notice I opened the window, and he doesn't seem to hear me talking because he's talking non-stop himself still with a dead serious face, staring at my car's bonnet:
"... and I'm going to walk off now."
There he walks away.
Uh... ok. I was just about to give him some money and food but he goes around the corner and he's gone on his way.
Probably one of the first times a beggar walks away from me without my having given him money, even though I was completely willing.
Could this be the lesson in all this? That if you find beggars annoying and wish them away and hate them, that they actually do cost you money; but if you have a kind heart and you're completely willing to give them money, they disappear and leave you alone, while you keep your money?
I must say this universe is one strange place.