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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Diary of a Newly Minted Papist: Reconsidering My Reconsidering Beggars.

I've written in the past of the cheerful panhandler, Joe, who just before the noonday mass at the Church of Our Saviour in Manhattan parks himself near the west door to receive donations. Joe never whines about being hungry or homeless; his only desire, seemingly, to secure sufficient funds with which to procure a supply of bumwine to get him through the day. Because of his utter lack of guile Joe has endeared himself to many of the noon regulars. I occasionally threaten (jestingly) to one day drag him into the church for mass but he laughs it off; as do I, thence proceeding inside after dropping a quarter or two into his hands.

The good worshipers of Our Saviour must be doing well by Joe: today, walking by him (I had no coins to spare this time), I noticed he was vigorously engaged in conversation on a cell phone but was able to manage a friendly wave. Observing that, I will confess to briefly considering the wisdom my meager handouts to Joe but, in the end, decided to continue them, for the same reason as before: his utter lack of guile. A lesser beggar would take pains to hide or disguise a cell phone but not our honest Joe.

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