Comments

Gabriel
January 31, 2005 at 9:46 am

I’ve seen that particular panhandler on the E before, during rush hour. Perhaps not the best time to attempt to swing oneself along by the arms, as that train is hardly even standing room only during rush hour.

My favorite panhandler, also on the E, was the old man singing, “I’m goin’ back to Brooklyn, to Brookyn, to Brooklyn, I’m goin’ back to Brooklyn – NO.” Which was, of course, entirely true.

When I originally moved here, my girlfriend warned me that I should always allow an additional twenty minutes beyond the maximum anticipated travel time. I have, however, learned to allow an additional hour, otherwise I seem to be late to everything.

I’d appreciate it, at some point, if aLp would rant viciously about the people who stand still on the left side of the escalators. I have a very precise, thoroughly pre-walked commute (that I leave two hours before my ETA to hopefully complete), and these fuckers ruin it every time.

acroiguana
January 31, 2005 at 9:59 am

God yes. I live in DC so I generally have it easy, but I have my share of subway escalator stories. Like the family of tourists who thought the moving staircase was the coolest thing ever and had to crowd around on it blocking a million people from getting to their train while the dad took their picture comming down. Or the people who can’t figure out the turnstile so they just stand there staring at it.

We only have pretend homeless people…no stories about that though. Good comic…okay I’m done.

Ocera
January 31, 2005 at 10:24 am

ROTFLMAO – same stuff happened on friday, when a lady was lecturing a guy for moving her foot (mind you he asked her to please move it politely, as it was on his bag)

Kevin
January 31, 2005 at 11:31 am

In Chicago there’s a guy who rides the subway who stands at the front of the train cars and shouts his crazyness at people. The last time I saw him he was lecturing on how certain “fluids” released during sex are actually spinal fluids, and each and every time we have sex we grow closer to cripling our ability to think. He also believes socialists come from outerspace and that the right side of their brain doesn;t work, making them genetically superior to us non-space dwelling capitalists. His Polish accent greatly increases the entertainment value of all this.
As far as panhandling, a friend of mine came across a hobo in downtown Chicago who had somehow aquired an electric razor. Brandishing it at people, she would offer to give them a shave for a small donation.

Treach
January 31, 2005 at 1:19 pm

Tattoo representin’!

Herve Villachaize’s best work was that Dunkin Donuts commercial in the ’90s where the guy asked him what kind of donut he wanted and Herve pointed and said “Da plain! Da plain!”

mentallyillhil
January 31, 2005 at 2:19 pm

acroiguana wrote:
Or the people who can’t figure out the turnstile so they just stand there staring at it.

How about when they do figure out what to do, and after they get thru, stop immediately blocking anyone else from getting thru. My other favorite is when you’re going up the stairs and after reaching the top step, they stop and just stand there. Being that everyone else around you is rushing down the stairs, you can’t move. And then the guy behind you has the balls to blame you for stopping randomly. Ah, Canal St.

But yeah Bernie, I think I’ve seen your panhandler on the L train. My fave panhandler situation had to be when I was coming home one evening from Yankee stadium. This guy entered the car from the front of the train and gave us all a speech how he had AIDS and lost his job and he was starving and just wanted some money so that he could feed his children. He goes on his merry way. Coming from the direction he exited came another guy carrying a huge bag of sandwiches. He starts a speech on how he’s with some clinic for the poor and homeless. He wants donations, too, so that they can continue their sandwich thing. Then he tells us that if we know anyone who is hungry, to give them his business card. I still wonder if that guy got a sandwich. I mean, they had to cross paths…

But panhandling goes back such a long way. My father loves telling the story about when his grandfather was on the train going to Wall St and decided to follow this panhandler he saw everyday begging for money. The guy also didn’t have any legs. So my great-grandfather follows this dude and watches him get into a limo and drive off. Ah, even in the subways early days…

Guest
January 31, 2005 at 4:42 pm

When I was little my mum and dad used to make me stay close to them by telling me about professional begging rings who would kidnap kids and take them to Thailand and chop off their arms and legs to make tourists pity them. (I’m from Malaysia).

HSH

NukeTheSiteFromOrbit
January 31, 2005 at 7:05 pm

We have something worse than panhandlers around the train stations in Sydney: Scientologists offering free “stress” tests.

Gabriel
January 31, 2005 at 7:52 pm

NukeTheSiteFromOrbit wrote:
We have something worse than panhandlers around the train stations in Sydney: Scientologists offering free “stress” tests.

Heh. We have those at Grand Central and an assortment of other places that I can’t quite remember off the top of my head. I tend to believe that Scientologists increase, rather than decrease, my stress.

I was thoroughly depressed when I saw a man reading a brand new copy of Dianetics likely as a result of this on the 5 one evening.

NukeTheSiteFromOrbit
January 31, 2005 at 8:01 pm

Gabriel wrote:
I was thoroughly depressed when I saw a man reading a brand new copy of Dianetics likely as a result of this on the 5 one evening.

I’m tempted to go up to these people and offer to buy them some quality science fiction like Isaac Asimov or Philip K Dick.

Special Guest
January 31, 2005 at 9:26 pm

I lived in San Francisco for a while and there was a guy who always panhandled at the top of the stairs near one of the BART (subway) exits. This guy looked like he was praying all the time because he was always on his knees with his head down on the ground and a little coffee cup in front of him. I think he thought that not making eye contact made people feel better about not giving him money, or something. So one day I’m walking past and a guy in a suit comes up the stairs and leaves a sandwich bag full of granola next to his cup. The praying-bum looks up at it and snatches the bag of granola and hurls it at the man in the suit (though he hit someone else with it on accident) and started cursing him out for giving him “worthless crap”.

There was also this guy in North Beach, where I worked, who would roam around and go up to the rich looking couples as they left their ritzy restaurants and would sing “I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go”…the opening line of that oldies song. Well that was all he sang. Just the one line. But he did it fairly well. So people would give him a dollar. Then he would come into the video store where I worked and trade in the dollar bills for tens, which worked out for me, cuz we were always strapped for singles late at night. What pissed me off is that he would do that six or seven times a night within the span of maybe three hours. So while I’m actually working a real job for 6 or 7 hours making maybe 40 or 50 bucks for my whole shift, this guy is making 60 or 70 bucks, tax free, in about three hours. If the guy didn’t smell and look like shit I’d almost envy him.

Switch
January 31, 2005 at 9:33 pm

Special Guest wrote:
The praying-bum looks up at it and snatches the bag of granola and hurls it at the man in the suit (though he hit someone else with it on accident) and started cursing him out for giving him “worthless crap”.

The nerve of that gutter dweller. Doesn’t he know that beggars can’t be choosers? They might be losers, but they certainly shouldn’t get the privilege of choosing.

BuzzJava
February 1, 2005 at 2:50 am

well i live in regina sask canada and well i know what you guy’s are saying we may not have a sub way but we still have crazzy pan handlers one’s that are willing to stand out side in -30 c weather just to fucking ask me if a starving university student can spare a few bucks

if you can find this site try finding the king or regina realy funnny site

SmoovyG
February 1, 2005 at 10:17 am

One time, when I was still living in Boston, I got cornered on the T by a homeless, ery drunk, very Irish gentleman. He managed to separate me from my wife and the rest of a very crowded car while he spewed his whiskey-soaked breath and venom directly in my face. Apparently, he was bitter about fighting in The War – not sure which one – and then coming home and turning into a drunk. By the time he left me alone and focused his attention on yelling racial slurs at the Nation of Islam guys that happened into the car, we had a good 3 foot clear area around us and I nearly had a contact buzz. Never saw the NoI brothers in Boston before or after that, but I’ve never been so happy to hear someone selling bean pies and radical newspapers before in my life.

Another time on the same line, I had to deal with a very ornery gentleman who was pissed and offended that I didn’t want to share his nasty-ass sammich with him. Ah, Boston. How I don’t miss thee.

urbanshawoman
February 1, 2005 at 12:21 pm

Special Guest wrote:
There was also this guy in North Beach, where I worked, who would roam around and go up to the rich looking couples as they left their ritzy restaurants and would sing “I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go”…the opening line of that oldies song.

Man, I think you just made my morning. :D

That song is called…”Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” Hell, for the sense of humor alone I’d have given him some money.

Sean
February 1, 2005 at 2:08 pm

we have the scientologists with the stress tests in NY too.. and also these weird chinese. I don’t mind them practicing falun gong or whatever on 42nd St. all day, but I have to refuse about 30 pamphet-wavers a day:
“No thanks”
“No thanks”
“not interested”
“leave me alone”
“what the, dammit GO AWAY!”

I want to headbutt one.

Of course the next day it’d be the same:
“No thanks”
“No”
“Didn’t I headbutt you yesterday?”

Switch
February 1, 2005 at 8:39 pm

What you need in that situation is a handful of your own and offering them that. That’s a trial I’m willing to see happen.

Sisawat
February 1, 2005 at 9:16 pm

I was passing the Scientologists at Times Square one night. ‘Free stress test!!’ The look I shot them must have been able to blister paint, because I have never seen a Scientologist give up on a quarry so fast.

The most irritating panhandler by far though is the family on the S train to Grand Central. They sing, loudly, which is fine, but if they don’t get any money its the ‘your horrible people my kids are gonna starve’ routine. Fuck you motherfucker, my ass doesn’t have five kids for a good reason, I know I can’t afford them.

One of the more humorous situations though was in Chinatown many years ago. Trying to be filial to her elders, a friend of mine had given to a particularly mouthy woman. The beggar looked at the alms and then loudly demanded more in a tone of Cantonese that even I could understand; proceeding to chase after my friend as we scurried down the street.

Tis a pain to give to them, tis a pain not to give to them, I guess.

(KHNH)
February 1, 2005 at 11:37 pm

Ok- You HAVE to believe this.
Today, me and my friends went to Chili’s for dinner, ’cause we’re cheap bastards who like large margaritas. Anyway, there we were, enjoying our theme-restaurant experience, and what happens? A (homeless?) man outside starts drawing with charcoal on a pad. He’s drawing one of us. Turns out, he’s drawing my friend. From outside of the Chili’s. We started laughing, because that is the most bizarre thing to have happened in a while. Then, it turns out that the drawing was really crappy, so we kept laughing. Well, the artist was none-too-pleased with this, and finished the drawing by writing “ASS-HOLE” underneath the picture. We could not stop laughing. It was the weirdest thing to ever happen to me in downtown Chicago… Ever.
We decided that if he was indeed homeless/a panhandler, we would not have bought the picture untill he had written “ASS-HOLE” underneath. We then decided we would have easily paid $20 for it.

hustlertwo
February 2, 2005 at 3:45 pm

ALthough this is slightly off-topic, I must ask: who do you think is the most successful midget in show business? Was it Herve with his Fantasy Islad gig and the sidekick spot in Man With the Golden Gun, Verne Troyer because of the Austin Powers sequels, or some other little guy I’ve forgotten?

SmoovyG
February 2, 2005 at 4:15 pm

I’d go with Michael J. Anderson over both of them, actually. Herve and Verne are/were pretty much typecast, not Anderson’s been in a lot of things playing a broad variety of characters. Carnivale, Twin Peaks, etc. Impressive resume.

[url]http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0027199/

Dean
February 2, 2005 at 4:43 pm

Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) is also on his way to becoming a very well-regarded serious actor. At 4’6″, I’m not sure if he is technically a “midget”.

Warwick Davis (Willow, Return of the Jedi, Leprechaun) has been the go-to midget for like 20 years, so he deserves mention.

hustlertwo
February 2, 2005 at 5:38 pm

Mmm, I forgot about Warwick Davis. The others have reasonable levels of fame, but I think in the end he wins the title, if for no other reason than because his fame has more staying power, thanks to the long-running Leprechaun movie series. I wonder if Leprechaun in Space is as funny as Jason X was….?

NukeTheSiteFromOrbit
February 2, 2005 at 8:19 pm

I’d like to put in a token nomination for Kenny Baker because of all those happy years watching the original Star Wars trilogy before Lucas farked them up.

cecilia rose
August 31, 2005 at 12:51 am

Special Guest wrote:
I lived in San Francisco for a while and there was a guy who always panhandled at the top of the stairs near one of the BART (subway) exits. This guy looked like he was praying all the time because he was always on his knees with his head down on the ground and a little coffee cup in front of him. I think he thought that not making eye contact made people feel better about not giving him money, or something. So one day I’m walking past and a guy in a suit comes up the stairs and leaves a sandwich bag full of granola next to his cup. The praying-bum looks up at it and snatches the bag of granola and hurls it at the man in the suit (though he hit someone else with it on accident) and started cursing him out for giving him “worthless crap”.

There was also this guy in North Beach, where I worked, who would roam around and go up to the rich looking couples as they left their ritzy restaurants and would sing “I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go”…the opening line of that oldies song. Well that was all he sang. Just the one line. But he did it fairly well. So people would give him a dollar. Then he would come into the video store where I worked and trade in the dollar bills for tens, which worked out for me, cuz we were always strapped for singles late at night. What pissed me off is that he would do that six or seven times a night within the span of maybe three hours. So while I’m actually working a real job for 6 or 7 hours making maybe 40 or 50 bucks for my whole shift, this guy is making 60 or 70 bucks, tax free, in about three hours. If the guy didn’t smell and look like shit I’d almost envy him.

Just keep thinking about the taxes thing, since he doesnt pay them he’ll ahve no retirement plans so he’ll do that at age 80 where you will be retired… or dead :D

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