We’ve all seen the people standing near stop signs with signs that say that they’ll work for food, they’re out of work, they’re passing through and ran out of food, or some other variation on one of those themes. Some, sadly, are legitimate; most are not. I recently saw a new wrinkle a while back at the Wally World on the south edge of town. A young woman, trim of figure and blond-headed, had a cardboard sign that began with the words “struggling artist.” I couldn’t read the rest, as the first two words pretty much ruled out me stopping.
Within a stone’s throw of where she was panhandling were two fast-food restaurants. I had to wonder if she’d applied at either. Perhaps I’m wrong, but her sign made it sound like she was trying to support herself by her artistic talents and wasn’t having much success. Most struggling artists and musicians have day jobs to support themselves. I just couldn’t help but wonder if she thought she was above manual labor. Obviously, she wasn’t above begging on the street.
She’s been there a couple times since then, with the same sign. I never see anyone give her anything, but she surely wouldn’t return if she hadn’t experienced at least SOME success. Maybe the trim figure and blond hair help. I can’t help but believe, though, that she’d get more donations if she’d scrap that “struggling artist” malarkey. I suspect a lot of folks will be like me and take it that she’s too proud to work like the folks who are giving her their money. That won’t fly with most folks around here; the times are too tough on nearly ALL of us around here. © 2014