Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The New Panhandlers

I'm not sure quite why, but I'm pretty sure we are experiencing an increase in the number of panhandlers on the streets of Palookaville this summer, walking the sidewalks or perhaps positioned with their dogs and tin cups,  holding up "Help Me!" signs outside (say) the supermarket.  And in particular, what I think is a novelty: the number who are  pretty,  or at least personable, young women.  

My guess is that these  are not actually hookers--no dimple-length short shorts, no garish lipstick, no Swedish-housemaid wigs.  And to be fair, I don't think they are getting much hooker traffic: we're talkin' full daylight here, in the ordinary humdrum shopping strip.  It would take a particular kind of raw  courage or blind lust to try to leverage this offer into an opportunity.  As to the girls themselves, I suspect the thought has never crossed their mind and that they would be shocked and horrified if did.  Indeed my next guess is that at least some of these are fairly ordinary middle class kids, temporarily short perhaps but not well schooled  in the exigencies of street survival.    And I hate to think of the crashing revelation that settles on them the first time some lizard rolls up and says "hi sweetie, $20 for a #$%@ &^$?"

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