What's Wrong With Beggars who Lie?
By Johnny Betts
Beggars. We've all been accosted by them at one time or another. If you
work downtown like me then your chances of having constant contact with
beggars are even greater. What's worse is that I have to park in a parking
lot that is about 3 blocks from where I work.
Beggars are mainly a nuisance. Most times you can think up an excuse like,
"I don't carry cash with me" and be on your way. But every now and then you'll
find one that's pretty persistent. The worst is when one starts making up all
sorts of obvious lies.
One day I had finished parking and was starting my trek to work. A few seconds
later some black dude comes up to me and says, "Excuse me sir..." and well, I
already knew where this was going. His wife comes running over there from the
other end of the parking lot (he took the east side and she was working the west
side I suppose). So dude starts blabbing about how they're from Milwaukee and
they're just trying to get home. A real sob story. They had no gas, the radiator
was broken, you know, the usual fare. Somewhere violin music played just a little
So he points over to his car and I see license plates that were not
Milwaukee license plates. Now that was my first sign that things
weren't on the up and up. Then he says they have been stranded there
for TWO days, ok, got that? Two days. Yep, since the radiator went out
and they have no gas, they were just stranded. I've always been good at
sniffing out a fishy story so I wiped away my tears and said sorry, but I don't
have any cash, I only carry a credit card. Big mistake on my part because they
start telling me they'll follow me to an ATM or anything, they just need some
They tell me they're not begging or anything like that. They'll show me
ID, anything. So the woman shows me "her" driver's license, and looky there, it has
Milwaukee on it. Never mind the fact that the picture looked nothing
like her. In fact, that just might have been a Chinese woman on the
driver's license now that I think about it. She says, "I know that
doesn't look like me right now, but it is me." So I'm thinking, "That's
you, huh? Before the plastic surgery I assume? Or did your appearance
just change once you got to the States?"
So I ask what they need. They say "anything". They're just trying to
get home; they have 200 miles to go. Milwaukee is only 200 miles from
Memphis? Last time I checked it was more like SIX HUNDRED MILES! The least they
could do if they're going to solicit Johnny Betts for money is get their
So the dude keeps saying he's broke and needs gas
money and money to get the radiator fixed so they can get home.
Meanwhile, his wife is off to the side carrying on some of the worst
overacting I've seen since yesterday's "Days of Our Lives".
So I told them that there are a lot of people who pass by the parking
lot and pay for their parking and they'd probably have some cash. They
finally realized that I wasn't going to budge, so they said that was ok
and started to head back to their car. I decided I wouldn't let them go
away completely empty-handed. Luckily I had an 8x10 with me. So I
signed it, gave it to them, and bid them adieu.
I started my trek up to work when what do I see? There they go, driving
by in the car that supposedly wouldn't start and that was supposedly
stranded for two days! Man, I just have no patience for people like
that. At least make your story believable! Put some effort behind it!
Get the facts straight. Goodness. If you're going to beg and make up a
story then at least have the decency to come up with something halfway
believable. WHAT'S WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!?!?!
That's one 8x10 I'll never get back. It'll probably pop up on Ebay soon.