Brother can you spare me a five?
A sign of the times? In most of the cases it is not a sign of the times but, rather, a lucrative farce that seems to be gaining in popularity.
You're driving along the Interstate on your way home from a long day's work... you pull off at your exit and there, waiting along side a long line of cars, is a healthy appearing person who looks to be in his 30s or 40s holding up a hand-lettered sign on a piece of a cardboard stating that he will "work for food."
Or that he is out of work and needs money to feed his starving children at home.
"Work for food?" Don't most of us have to work for food and other necessities of life?
There are real-life stories of these tattered cons making more money than those of us who are holding down a job of at least 40 hours a week but can't afford the $9 pack of cigarettes that he is chain smoking.
Bear in mind, he is likely receiving regular welfare payments and collects his monthly food stamp "entitlement" plus he has free medical and never runs short of beer or smokes.
The easily duped, bleeding-heart motorists, waiting for the light to change, feel sorry for these freeway bandits and bless them with $5 bills, not a buck but five bucks.
Some years ago, there was a grossly overweight man who parked himself on his lawn chair in front of a certain liquor store in Lynnwood and used his sad-eyed 7-year-old son to do the begging.
This guy wasn't disabled, he was just exceedingly lazy with a more than healthy appetite.
Some of you may remember seeing him there on a regular basis on site at the James Village shopping area.
And you have to wonder what kind of life this well-trained boy might adopt as he grows up.
He's been trained to pick up pockets full of money begging.
What chance does he have for earning an honest living as he matures?
The volunteer bell ringers that freeze their bottoms off at the entry to your favorite store around Christmas time pick up a few coins in their little red bucket to go to a very worthwhile charity (one that has been acknowledged as providing the largest percentage of the donations to the actual needy) or sometimes a greenback or two.
Why is it that some of us feel good about ourselves for these miniscule donations to an honest charity while lavishing much larger contributions on bums (and that's the only word that fits them) and worthless, lazy beggars who, in many cases, are living high off'n the hog.
I'm all in favor of charities such as the Food Bank or the Salvation Army or the all volunteer ARC (for which I once served as president for the Snohomish County chapter) because there are people who are truly in need.
I am, however, totally against these phony, roadside beggars.