Apparently I Look Like I Have More Than One Dollar

Jim and I were eating lunch the other day at McDonald’s in D.C. when a bum approached me.

“Excuse me sir…can you buy me a sandwich?”

I dug through my pocket and pulled out a dollar. “Here you go…that’s all I got.”

“Oh,” said the bum, somewhat dejected. “I thought you had more.”

If you’re a bum reading this, two things:

1) You’re not allowed to criticize or offer comment on any donations you receive

2) Congratulations on getting to use a computer

Why did he think I had more money? Nothing about me screams out well-to-do. Let me paint a picture for you, baby: I work in downtown D.C. This part of the city is crawling with suits. Trent Lott eats lunch right next to my office. That’s the kind of person you’re dealing with in this area. I dress allright, but compared to most dudes around here I look like a business-casual pauper. How many Fortune 500 CEOs rock a grey polo with a raggedy beard? Another thing to consider: I have to dress down to cancel out my jaw-dropping good looks. Combining those two elements would be much too deadly for any D.C. skirt to overcome.

You would think a bum would be the last guy to jump to conclusions. What if I was just another bum who had robbed some guy of all his decent clothes? If that was true, when he asked me for money, I could say, “Actually man, I was about to ask you the same thing. I realize you’re just wearing a trenchcoat and sweat pants, and you smell like farts, but you should have seen me until I robbed some fool wearing khakis. So can a brother get a McNugget?”

Here’s the type of bum I respect: one day a guy outside McDonald’s asked me for a double cheeseburger. Yes! Finally, a bum who knows what he wants. We don’t have to waste time on him deciding what to eat. I mean, I didn’t buy him anything, but still. He got my respect. If by respect I mean a half-smiling rejection while shaking my head and quickly muttering something about, “Sorry no money,” under my breath.

In closing, here’s hoping that neither of those bums end up on, slowly work their way up the bum fighter rankings, and get so unstoppable that they find me and stomp me out.


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