Thursday, April 24

The Accidental Beggar

I got up one morning last week and realized there was no coffee in the house. I'm no good until I get that first cup in me, so I pulled on an old pair of sneakers, some grey sweatpants, and my favorite yellow shirt, then set out for my local coffee bar.

Upon arrival I impatiently placed my order and when it was ready I eagerly grabbed the sacred libation from the barista, spilling a bit on my shirt, and strutted out into a glorious Spring morning. I wouldn't say I guzzled the drink, but I certainly wasted no time in consuming it. I was just looking around for a trash receptacle in which to deposit the empty paper cup when I noticed my left shoe was untied. I got down on one knee to tie it, placing the cup on the sidewalk in front of me. At that moment a matronly woman happened to walk by and drop a dollar bill into my cup. "Get yourself something to eat, dear," she said kindly. As I looked up she smiled sympathetically.

She walked on a few steps then stopped, thought for a moment, and came back. She looked down at me sadly, opened her purse, pulled out a five dollar bill and also dropped it in the cup.

"And get a clean shirt," she advised confidentially. "It will make you feel so much better about yourself."


When I got home and told my wife what had happened she helpfully remarked, "Looks like you've got $6 to put in the poor box at St. Joe's."

When I agreed she smiled and added, "I'll bet they'll take that shirt off your hands, too. If you beg."

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