Not sure what to call this post. Maybe “Urban Legend Confirmed” or something along those lines. Nah, I’ll just leave it at “Hmmmmmmmm…”
We’ve all seen the guys on the on ramp or sitting on the sidewalk with a guitar or a sign, etc. I usually feel bad if I don’t try to help because I’m a softie. It’s true. If I have any cash on me, I’m likely to hand over a bit to a scruffy-looking hard luck case, in most cases with a smile on my face that reads “I am a sucker, take my money.”
You know…guys like this (NOTE: Borrowed pic, this is NOT the individual I am talking about):
Most of the time, I try to believe that I am actually helping someone who needs it, which makes me feel better about parting with my hard-earned. (Of which I have far too little.) One fellow, in particular, has gotten money from me on numerous occasions. This guy sits on the sidewalk by a parking garage in a ragged, one piece thermal suit with duck tape patches and more stains than Stephen Hawking has brain cells. His long, shaggy beard is unkempt and hides most of his ruddy cheeks. Usually he wears a tattered knit toboggan on his head. While he sits on the sidewalk, he plays an equally ratty guitar, which he carries in a beat up guitar case (again, duct tape patches, dirty, etc.) And waits for people to drop bills into either his guitar case or an old coffee tin.
Well, as I have said. I am a sucker for a hard luck story, and I’ve given this guy money on several occasions.
Saturday night, Heather and I decided to ge see THE CRAZIES (excellent movie!), and we parked in that same parking garage. Who do I see walking up the stairs but our ragged street musician with guitar case in hand. He looked kinda funny loading that beat up, ratty guitar case into the trunk of a (very) late model Lincoln Town Car.
Nope. Not kidding. This guy dresses like he has to fight cockroaches for food, plays on my sympathy, and apparently owns a car that cost more than my yearly salary. Go figure.
I can’t wait until the next time I see him on the sidewalk playing. I am going to ask him if that is his Pearl White Lincoln Town Car in space XX on floor X. If he says no, then I will say “Good. Because there’s a guy up there with a tow truck about to haul it away,” and see if he takes off running.
DISCLAIMER: I know there are needy people out there. Further, I know that this particular individual is not representative of every guy with a guitar sitting on the sidewalk and playing for loose change. Not everyone out there is trying to rip you off, and you should never feel bad about helping people who need it. But guys like this make it so hard to trust that you are actually helping someone in need, know what I mean? Shit like this really gets under my skin.