So I was on a downtown F train in Manhattan. A group of young lads hopped into the subway car and started chanting:
LADS: What time is it?
Oddly, they all knew the answer to the question they were asking and yet they all still asked.
Like most New Yorkers, I hardly look up at the never ending parade of attention-grabbing panhandlers. And I give money even less often. A person could be on fire and I might look up and maybe give a quarter.
My take on it is, why do I have to pay for an unsolicited display of talent?
ME: I appreciate you juggling kittens…no it’s pretty amazing but I don’t remember commissioning you to come here on the train and toss felines. Do you have an invoice…and RFP*?
Back to my train ride…
These lads proceeded to break dance, flip, do head stands, hand stands and windmills…on a moving train! They had all of 3 feet in any direction and did all this without hitting anyone. They continued even as the train pulled into the station and came to a stop. I can barely stay in my seat when that 20 ton chunk of moving steel jolts, breaking in 1 block from 40 mph to zero. In fact, most New Yorkers don’t even get mad when the person standing next to them slams into them during a particularly abrupt stop. I t’s par the course. These kids maintained hand stands.
I gave a dollar.
Why children have to be expert gymnasts and flip on dirty subway floors to make spare money is another question all together.