She minces no words.

Dont Mince Words

Homie ain’t got no game

Posted on April 25, 2004 by Marna

When I lived in New York, I encountered the best panhandlers the world has to offer. Now that I’ve been in LA a while, I have to say, I’m not impressed.

NY bums have an angle and they understand marketing, no matter their mental faculties. I’ll toss money at a mother carrying a baby if her story is “I have AIDS.” Subway panhandlers will play you a tune on their mobile Casio or beatbox for change. Everyone in NY works hard for the money. I always gave when the talent was good or when the story seemed genuine.

Yesterday I had to run into the drug store for my blessed multipack of tampons. It was a ‘get out of the way before the dam breaks’ kind of day….and a NY don’t-fuck-with-me day. But it was 80 degrees and sunny with a breeze, so that took the edge off.


Some 40-something guy with nappy-ass hair and below the hip baggy jeans saw me parking at the drug store. He moved from the median strip and began to approach me.

“Hey, New York, you think you can spare some change,” he said, obviously literate enough to understand my “I love NY” bumper sticker. He picked the wrong woman on the wrong day to hit up for anything.

“That’s the best you can fucking do? Can you spare some change? Come on, you gotta have a better story than that in order for me to help your ass out,” I replied.

Fuck. My inner child went verbal again. I turned, went into the drug store, knowing my tires would be slashed when I came out. I was probably the first honest cracker he had encountered all day.

I pulled my primary purchase off the shelf, tossed it in the basket, and stalled for time in the store in order to give Mr. Some Change time to move to another area of the parking lot.

When I left the store, I noticed that he must of come in behind me and made a quick purchase. He had Windex and paper towels and he was asking people if he could clean their windows.

It was a very 80s Time Square angle, but at least I taught him something. Homie got a game plan.

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  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 377 Posts, 132 Comments

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