Change for the Homeless and the Homeless Making Change

The other night I parked at a metered space near Union Station. As soon as I got out of my car a homeless guy (or at least what appeared to be a homeless guy, you never know), gave me a spiel of, “Hello sir, how are you? It’s free to park there right now unless you stay there overnight. Then you’d have to start paying in the morning.”

He wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t know but hey, at least he’s trying to provide some kind of service. I said thanks and reached into my pocket to give him a couple of bucks. It turned out I only had one single, so I said, “Here, I only have one single, but I’ll grab a few quarters from my car too.”

He responded by offering to make change! “If you have a ten, I have a five,” he said.

As much as I appreciated his quick thinking and effort, I declined. “No, that’s ok, I’ll get you some quarters.”

“Yeah, but you ain’t gonna give me no five bucks in quarters.”

His disappointment was palpable but didn’t win me over. I gave him $2 in quarters. He ended up pleased and wished me a good night.

Two hours later I was coming back to the car and he approached me asking if I could help him out. “I got you earlier,” I said.

He said, “No, you didn’t, that must’ve been George.”

I was sure this was the same guy from earlier and I proved it to him with an alibi. “Sure, I did. I’m the one who gave you the quarters.”

“Oh, yeah,” he admitted.

1 Comment so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on February 16th, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

    You’re nicer than me. I’d have totally told him he overplayed his hand if he pulled that 5-10 thing with me. Or at least said “Rest assured, I ain’t gonna give you not five bucks in ANYTHING.”

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