Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The Future

On my way to Ars* cinema last night, I passed yet another homeless drunk slumped at the side of Jana street with a bowl in front of him and some words felt-tipped onto a piece of corrugated cardboard.

Generally I am ashamed to admit that I walk past these people: I probably stop on a 70:30 basis depending on how guilty I feel at the time, how broke I feel at the time, how recently I last went to church and whether or not there's anyone about (I feel awkward when people see me).

So I walked past this guy, in a hurry to get to the cinema.

As I passed him, I glanced at the cardboard sign.

'Zarabiać na piwo;

ewentualnie na wino'

Earning for beer... and perhaps even wine...

Struck by the genius of his request, and stifling peals of laughter, I turned back immediately and gave him all the change in my purse (only about 4 złoty, don't get excited, but I needed the note to get into the cinema)

For his honesty, for showing ambition - even in the humblest and most human of ways - and for putting a smile on my face, I wish this guy every future happiness.

*feck, gurrls


peixote said...

Unfortunately that method has by now become overused - I have seen other beggars going for the same 'honesty' ploy.

Incidentally, there is a famous cartoon by Andrzej Mleczko, with the sign on the beggar`s cardboard proclaiming: "I don`t give a s... about your stinking money". With the comment from one of the on-lookers: "he is the most ambitious beggar in our town"

pinolona said...

Oh crap and I fell for it.

I'm not quite clever enough for Mleczko yet although I always linger outside the gallery on Jana so it looks like I'm trying...

Wiosanna said...

I agree with peixote, it's overused. There are not only beggars using this reason very common is that students or young people go to you and say "can you give me some money we are collecting money for wine". I found it irritating. If I don't borrow from others I don't want to lend anything. But I know some people don't mind.

Anonymous said...

It was only used by students when they were sitting on the streets of Krakow or Zakopane (often
playing guitars but sometimes just sitting there doing nothing) with a cardboard sincerely saying "Zbieramy na piwo". And it was working cause it was so honest (in a cheaky way) and was making people smile.
After some time 'common beggars' adopted this technique as well. Anyway, old stuff and probably not working as well as it was at the beginning ;)

pinolona said...

It's ok. I fully intend to try it out on Sevenoaks High Street. Only I'd have to go a bit upmarket to appeal to the yuppie demographic:

'Champagne fund for debt-laden St Andrews graduate, please give generously.
Saving up for a Bombay and Tonic...'