Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bums vs Homeless People

One of the main moves of the homeless folk around here is to stand at a street corner, wait for a red light, and then try to get money/cigarettes off of the people waiting in their cars. I see this all the time. Sometimes they'll pretend to cry, sometimes they'll be wearing big smiles, sometimes they'll be holding signs that say stuff like "anything will help, god bless!"

The place where I work is located on a fairly busy street corner. This means a lot of foot traffic and a lot of homeless people hanging around. I've come to know a couple of them since I see them all the time. My favorite is a guy named Hawk. He's a guy I would classify as "homeless" and not a "bum". Bums are the ones on street corners. Homeless people may beg, but they're not in your face about it, or may do odd jobs for a few bucks.

After Hawk and I talked one night, he realized I was a sympathetic figure and kind of began taking advantage of me. If he asks for a couple bucks, he does so in a very polite way. Usually, though, he washes my car. I'll be walking around the store, into the parking lot, and notice a running puddle of water.

"Please don't let that be my car."

But, of course, when I turn the corner I see Hawk wiping away on my hood.

"Oh, hey! Three more minutes and you woulda never known I was here!"

I then have to sit around and wait for him to finish up, make small talk, and fish out a few dollars when he's done.

Not that big of a deal. I'm a few bucks poorer, but, at least my car is clean (kinda). It may get annoying how he'll do it whether my car is dirty or not (three washes in two weeks? C'mon man) but it's still better than him just saying "Give me a buck."

A few nights ago, I ran into a Bum. Capital B. This guy is a bum in all sense of the word. I saw him standing on the corner of 14th and Williams street at one o'clock in the morning. Work was stressing me out and I didn't have any patience for the scroungy white dude on the corner with a sign asking for my money.

I pulled up to the red light and tried not to make eye contact with him. Once eye contact is made, a bum won't leave you alone. He stood maybe ten feet away from my window and I could feel his stare burrowing into the side of my head. I finally gave him a quick glance, shook my head, and gave a little dismissive wave. This is a move I have perfected. It usually gets them to leave me alone with one try. Usually.

After my dismission maneuver, he continued to stare at me, holding his sign. I looked at the green light that I didn't have, noticed the pedestrian-walking sign was still lit, and knew I'd be there for at least a few more minutes. His beady, angry eyes, were still drilling me through the window.

I did the move again. He saw this and did the move back to me, highly exaggerated, mocking me like a six year old. I gave him the what-the-fuck hands and he got pissed.

He dropped his sign, began walking towards me car, and yelled, "Fuck you!" He continued coming at me so I looked left, looked right, and ran the red light. I figured that if I got pulled over, I could just tell the cop what had happened and he'd probably understand. I watched in my rear-view mirror as the man kept staring at me until I turned a corner.

I don't know why this guy had targeted me like he did. There was another car right behind me the whole time and he didn't even look at it. He figured I had money that he deserved and didn't want to wait to get it. That's what amazes me. He was pissed that I didn't give him my money. What the hell? Why does he deserve it so much? He should be happy/grateful/shocked if I actually do give him money. If I don't, he should be like, "Yeah, well, I mean, it's not my money anyways."

So that's cool. Bums are annoying. Homeless people usually have an interesting story to tell you. Go talk to a homeless person and avoid every bum you see.


  1. Proverbs 19:17 ESV / 26 helpful votes

    Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

  2. Deuteronomy 15:7-11 ESV / 18 helpful votes

    “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

  3. Reading your story has touched me, i'm happy to see that people can actually tell the difference between the two, i'm 19 and currently Homeless, my mother is disabled and wheelchair bound, i spend all of my time making sure my mom has what she needs and no one bothers her or tries to steal from us, there really is a difference between bums and homeless, bums will try to get change from you all the time reguardless, the homeless are trying to just live day by day, and may ask for spare change and legitimately use it, not just to get a bottle of liquor or their next high. So again thank you for realizing the difference

  4. The logic of the "Unworthy Poor" and the "Worthy Poor" is hardly a new concept. Dope addicts, crack whores, criminals, scam artists, thugs, cheats and all nature of vile human constitute the "Unworthy Poor!" All the "unworthy Poor" are in effect the BUMS of which we speak.

    Back when I was young over fifty years ago it was ok to call the losers in society bums. A homeless person wants to improve their situation and will work within his abilities to do so given a fair chance. A BUM wants others to furnish his every need, want and whim. A BUM wants whatever you have because; he deserves what others have worked hard for.

    Homeless people have an intact work ethic. Bums are moral degenerates whose selfishness demands others to share their wealth out of a sense of inbred absolute entitlement. BUMS are essentially parasites who exist only to service their own needs, wants and desires at the expense of the societies on which they live.

    Bums are in effect parasites that exist in human form. There is nothing at all socially or morally redeeming about BUMS explaining why they are so hated by most good people. The homeless are victims of economic challenges, medical issues and other adversities. BUMS are simple minded parasites who feel everyone and everything in their world owes them a comfortable living! The homeless are empowered because if offered a way out they take it gladly. BUMS feel entitled and like the rats they are they despoil everything they touch with their filth.