Saturday, September 15, 2012

10 Signs held by beggars

Begging is a time honored tradition that dates back to the Bible and earlier.  I knew a man in the Netherlands that claimed that he made as much money begging on weekends from tourists as he did working at his job in a bank. If you've decided to give up and try to skirt the system that pays you for not being able to work by begging for money you don't have to report, you might want to try some of these signs to help on lookers part with a bit of their cash.

1 - Will work for food - A classic.  Usually you'll find this one held by someone that appears to be able bodied, but is probably not clean shaven and maybe a bit grubby.  The idea is that somehow if you were to give this man a good meal, he would do some simple yard work or maybe cleanup on a construction site.  Of course it would just be easier to give him money.

2 - Help feed pete - A different take on the Work for food mentioned above.  This one features a grubby man that doesn't really look like he cares along with a dog.  The man's given up.  Life wins.  But then he must think about his poor companion.  Pete the dog.  What about pete?  Who will step up and take care of Pete? Won't you help the man feed pete?  I witnessed this one in San Francisco.

3 - Anything helps - Sure it does.  A man has fallen on desperation.  He has made every effort, but life has simply dealt him a 9 high in the pai gow hand of life.  The man using this sign just lacks any creativity.  Any assistance at all is appreciated?  This is really open ended.  Anything helps what?  helps who?  I guess a spare dollar will help.  I usually see the anything helps guy on the entrance to a wall mart or maybe a sams club.

4 - Help a vet - Many times, but not always a grizzled man in fatigues.  The military angle is popular because we know that there are people that have been injured and left behind that have given their very lives in military service.  I would like to think that a beggar wouldn't say this unless he was an actual veteran.  Then again, I would like to think that a veteran would have even more access to institutionalized help then the standard indigent.

5 - Ran out of gas - Just a regular guy that forgot his wallet or had it stolen.  I always wonder how this guy could lose his wallet yet have cardboard and marker to make a sign. This one gets better the more expensive gas is.  Once he's collected enough for a tank of gas he has to either fill up and go on his way, or clear the money out of his card board box so it appears he doesn't have enough for a gallon or two.

6 - Stranded - This guy usually looks ok, just a bit bewildered.  Though the fickle hand of fate he is stranded and only needs a new car part to be on his way.  A friend of mine offered to go to the parts store and help this guy out because him in the same place on the way to work every day for a few days in a row.  The guy didn't want that.  The next day he offered the guy a part again and he accepted.  They went to the parts store and he bought the guy a part and the guy wanted the receipt as well as the part.  clever.

7 - Beer Money - Regular looking man usually with a beer gut.  This straightforward sign was seen by me in New Orleans many moons ago.  I thought it was refreshing in the wake of so many that were willing to work for food.  Someone must have figured out that sometimes humor is just as likely to get you a donation as pathos.

8 - My baby is hungry - The only female entry in the list (yes I really only tend to see men with these signs.  Sometimes they bring their kids along to enhance the call of their need, but it's still a man with a sign).  I've only seen this with women in European tourist locations.  A woman will be sitting with a small (sometimes not small) child that is just enough to tug at the heart strings of the wives of husbands on vacation.  I would say it might tug at the husband's heart strings as well, but I'm going with the odds. here.  Everyone knows tourists have deep pockets.

9 - Help the 99% - Usually some kind of hippy dude with the matted dread lock hair.  I thought it was interesting because it put you in the temporary role of the 1%.  I know that while I'm probably doing better than your average sign beggar, I'm not really even close to a 1% er.  So I'm not really sure what the sign is saying.  By not giving, I'm still helping the 99%.

10 - New business seeks venture capital funding -  ha ha.  very funny.  Along the same vein as Beer money, but with a high brow approach.  I've never seen a venture capital seeker looking for a financial angel among the rank and file walking by.  He never mentioned what his venture was to be.  Probably a new kind of cardboard.

I understand the plight of the desperate and how they need help.  I will give you this bit of advice.  When you see a beggar carrying a sign looking for a hand out.  MOST of them are looking for money to feed the device that brought them to this point of their lives.  Now I could be wrong about some of them, if that's the case.  I'm sorry.  But if you feel that you should donate to these sign carriers even though your chances of helping instead of feeding more hurt is not very good; look for your local homeless shelter.  Give that institution a buck or two and know your money is doing some good.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

10 common abilities and the comic book abilities they are like

We have all kinds of super hero movies these days.  Personally I love em.  The idea that you can have powers that set you apart from the rest of humanity is a lot of fun.  Of course in real life, if you had powers you wouldn't want them for more than a month, and if you did, you wouldn't be using them for good.  Well, we already have super powers.  It all depends on context.  After all, Superman isn't all that super back on Krypton.  He's regular-man.

Here are some semi-super powers you might already have.

10. Having a cellphone - Speed - not long ago, your life was complicated by getting to places on time.  These days it's not really as urgent as all that since you can call ahead and mention that you will be late.  This is all evidenced by movies that include a lack of communication as a plot complication.  Gotta get to X to warn the innocent people that a bomb will be going off at Y oclock.  Now, you can call someone from nearly anywhere.  It's like you are the FLASH.  Everywhere all the time.

9. Lawyer - Invisibility, Shields - The right Lawyer in criminal Law can make even the most convincing evidence invisible to the case.  They of course can extend their law shields to protect you against the most harsh legal attacks.  Sue Richards of the Fantastic Four could go invisible and later, because going invisible really isn't a terrific power to have unless you want to be a bad guy, they gave her shields that she could use in various ways to help the team.  Lawyers seem to always be using invisibility and shielding to their advantage.

8. Doctor - Healing - In the super hero realm.  The ability to heal themselves and others makes you pretty popular on any team-up project.  It keeps everyone going for much longer in the fight than they could normally.  Most comic book heros only have self healing abilities.  Well, A doctor can do that AS WELL as heal others.  Take THAT Wolverine!

7. Computer Geek - Telepathy - I realized this while I was helping my mom with some computer issues over the phone.  It was very similar to nearly every support call I've ever had the pleasure to take.  You are suddenly asked and expected to understand and know what is showing on your customer's screen at any point in time.  In true psychic form you will predict what will happen after a sequence of keystrokes and mouse clicks:

...O.k. when you click that button, a pop up screen will show up.  That's normal...'I didn't get a pop up screen, I got a balloon or something that made a pop sound'...No, you're clicking on the lower right part of your screen, move your mouse away from that...'How did you know?'...Well because...It doesn't matter.  Now go to the OTHER button and click on it...'  

This makes you both Telepathic and Clairvoyant.  Impressive indeed.

6. Video Games - Time Travel (Forward Only) - This is not a super power as much as it is an effect.  You find a game that completely consumes you.  Perhaps Skyrim for example.  You then play until say midnight.  Now you'll just continue to play until you gain one more skill level.  ZAP!!!  You have time traveled nearly 8 hours ahead in time.  Things are so different they enjoy the same kinds of things?  Have they cured cancer?  Do they all wear tin foil clothes?  Those questions aren't nearly as important as the question 'how am I going to make up for all of my lost sleep?'.

5. Your kids facebook account - Xray vision - How do they know??!?  How can they tell?!?  When you have access to or are unrestricted friends with your kid.  You suddenly have xray vision into their most private moments!  It's amazing!  They don't realize or care that they are being monitored.  Just don't abuse it or they may search for some kind of internet lead to put in your way of your x-ray vision.

4. Some Money - molecular manipulation - It's amazing.  All you have to do is take these rectangles of paper and give them to someone behind a long table and then you keep the item or good you have purchased.  You have turned mere paper into a groceries, a frosty chocolate shake, or even an IPOD! GASP!  It's amazing.  you can turn plain fibrous wood pulp into nearly anything you want.  OOOOOOH  AAAAAAAH.  Of course you are stuck on the other end of this super power as well.  You provide real work or service and all you get are numbers that someone else holds on to for you that represent the rectangles of paper.  The real magic is in what supports all of this.

3. Having a smart cellphone - Flight - Smart Cellphones have many abilities, but one of the most used functions seems to be using a mapping program on your smartphone while using the GPS located inside.  This gives you a birds eye view of the area around you.  Really, if you had flight what would you do?  You would fly up and look down and see where you are.  You would stop using flight as a means of transportation very quickly after realizing some people seeing you fly would mistake you for some kind of target.

2. Motion Detecting lights - magic - If you ever go into work early or stay after late in a building that was built fairly recently.  You have motion sensors detecting everything.  In cost saving measures, the building people make lights available when they sense movement.  they make water appear out of the tap in the same fashion.  Anyone that see's this from the 1970's would consider this absolute magic.  It would seem that the whole building is bent to your will.  Making things happen for your sole benefit.  And like so many things.  We look at it like it's no big deal.

1. Having a truck - Strength - Gosh, I need to move, who do you call?  The Hulk?  so He could move tons of your stuff to your next dwelling.  Wait a minute.  that might be really damaging to most if not all of your stuff because he has to get really pissed off to be able to do it.  So instead you call 'Buddy with a truck'  yes not as catchy but a lot more available and you can then move without worrying about losing your deposit.

If you are a first time reader.  Welcome.  If you are reading this rag again, Thanks.  Like Box of my stuff on Facebook and 15 Days from now I will use my special super power of looking at obvious things and make another entry.