I met reader Ron for dinner last night which was quite good fun. He is in Vancouver regularly, and so we got together for burgers and beers. It was great fun, and always fun to meet someone from our little corner of Al Gore's Information Superhighway.
And there's a decent blog post that will come out of that, where some ideas I'd been having crystallized. That will have to wait for another day. Instead, I have to make a statement about the low caliber of the beggars on Vancouver's streets.
Like other pretty but hippy-dippy cities (San Francisco, Boulder, Portland) it attracts middle class kids who get a kick out of slumming as pan handlers. Easy to pick them out: well dressed, well groomed, well fed.
I actually find this seriously annoying - there are people who actually do need help. I remember one in Austin whose face was a study of misery and shame. She's the type that I don't think twice about giving some cash. Or the guy by the side of the road with the sign saying Wife and dog kidnapped by space aliens. Need cash for martial arts lessons. I gave him a sawbuck because his street theater made me laugh.
The punks last night? They weren't clever, they weren't in need, they weren't even good liars, and they didn't even remember that they'd tried to hit on us before. And one of them didn't seem to appreciate my single word "No" answer. It seemed to somehow offend his sense of dignity, or something.
Look, yuppie hippy dude - no means no. Sheesh.