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Friday, November 13, 2015

To P or not to P

To P or not to P

I was on the freeway recently driving and listening to the news on the radio (which I almost never do anymore).  Ever since digital music came along and I can take a large playlist with me, the radio has become obsolete, for me anyway. 

Amongst many topics being discussed there was a discussion on the subject of aggressive panhandling by the homeless population of a city in the State of Washington.  I won’t mention the city but I will say that it wasn’t Seattle.  Don’t get me wrong, Seattle has many problems including a large population of homeless people.  The topic was news worthy because the administration of the particular city was taking steps to deal with the aggressive panhandlers that was driving customers away from the downtown area.

An audio clip of a public hearing was played and a (obvious) homeless activist raised his voice above all others to make the point that there was no restrooms available for the homeless to take care of business.  He pointed out that the merchants didn’t allow non-customers to use their facilities.

I could easily advocate for both sides of the argument.  I have seen the mess that can be left behind when a homeless person uses a merchant’s facility to give themselves a sponge bath and a shave.  I have also seen a merchant threaten to call the police when a couple of men or more locked themselves in a restaurant restroom and leave only after the police threat while leaving behind needles and other drug paraphernalia.

That short radio broadcast got me to thinking about a different scenario.  For those of us that can afford to take in the occasional sporting event costing $150 plus or perhaps a rock concert.  We are pretty confident and comfortable that we can take care of ourselves if Mother Nature should call unexpectedly while we are out and about.
What would be the outcome if we are in a large city (15k population or much larger) and our car gets stolen with our wallet and cell phone in it.  Perhaps we get mugged or pick pocketed and we find ourselves without our precious credit cards and identification.  If you are anything like me, I seldom carry paper money on me (mostly because I have children and grandchildren).

In the case of a scenario like the one described, we are not much better than a homeless person.  I am so dependent on my cellular telephone that I don’t know anyone’s phone number not even my wife or children’s numbers.  I’m not sure that I could tell you what my phone number is.  Even if we did have phone numbers, you can no longer go to the corner pay phone in most cities.

Imagine if you found yourself in downtown Seattle of San Francisco and you wanted to do #1 or worst yet #2, but you don’t have money to buy even a pop or a cup of tea.  You could end up under arrest for relieving yourself at some street corner or even alley.  I realize that I just created a problem out of the blue for me and you.  However, that is an everyday problem for the homeless population in larger cities.  I keep mentioning larger cities because the smaller towns don’t have the homeless population associated with the cities, and besides pretty much any merchant in a small town would offer you the use of their facility, or even offer you a free meal.

I’m sorry to say that I am not offering a solution, just a possible problem.  One solution might be to try to remember a handful of important telephone numbers.  As for Mother Nature calling, Depends (no pun intended).  The best is yet to come……

1 comment:

  1. I believe the difference would be your clothing and being clean and shaven. The other side of the coin that most will not address is why are they completely homeless in this country we have shelters and soup kitchens (granted they cannot cover every one). We are not in a depression like the past has had. During the end of the great depression the difference was most adults would ask to do any work for a meal or use of the facilities for their family or themselves and they were too proud to take advantage of anyone, just my take on the issue.