When someone approaches and says, “Excuse me, can I ask you something?” And then says, loudly, “I am not a Bum, or a derelict, or a panhandler,” you know that the next thing they are going to do is ask for money, which, by definition, makes the person at least one of the above. Yesterday a man of about 60 approached me at the Lake Forest Oasis on my way to my car. He had a pretty long story about the car braking down and him having money for the towing and his buddy – who waved at me from the driver’s seat of the car – having had the money for the repair. Now they needed money for gas. It seemed only right that I should pay my share so I gave him money but I did consider asking for a receipt because, as a charitable contribution, it is deductible.
If you are a panhandler find me. I cannot say no. I do not like giving money away, but I usually do it to get away from the situation as fast as possible.