I had a funny one the other day. The Ghetto Shell station is tied into the Winn-Dixie gas promotion, so to get 50 cents off a gallon, after buying hundreds of dollars of groceries (they throw pennies at us, hoping we spend dollars!) I go there to get gas.
A lady driving a Lexus, wearing much nicer clothes than I have, with a very nice hair-do with very expensive extensions, drives up and asks me, "Can you help a lady in need?" - she talks softly, so I have to walk to her car to hear her. I tell her (truthfully) that I don't have any cash.
By the way, make sure your car is locked when you pump gas - people do this to distract you, while an accomplice loots your car.
I assumed, since she was driving a nicer car than mine, wearing nicer clothes - and did I mention her perfect nails? - that she just wanted directions. It floored me that she was begging for money - in a Lexus!
When I said, "no" - she drove to the other pumps to ask other patrons. Apparently, begging is a drive-by sport now. Or was she selling something? I doubt the latter, as she did not seem to be a prostitute. She was too nicely dressed for that.
But it is funny - begging is a big deal for a lot of folks - and many engage in it as a pastime. Going to the store? Beg. Going to the gas station? Beg. Wherever you go - Beg. Someone might give you a dollar, or two, or more. It adds up, in a perverse sort of way - and if you put that money into savings (instead of crack) wow - you'd could be rich. But I think most are investing in other things......
Sorry, but this sort of thing makes me lose what little sympathy I have for beggars. Many of these people are not needy or homeless, but just trying to prey upon the ignorance of others - as well as the need some people have to show they are better than everyone else by "caring about the homeless" by aggressively panhandling. And aggressive they get - oftentimes a panhandling plea can escalate into an assault, particularly if the panhandler is mentally ill or on drugs (which is often the case). Laws have been passed regulating panhandling as a result of such incidents in places like Key West or Washington DC.
These sort of panhandlers are like the American version of Gypsies. They seem harmless enough..... at first.