Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Making up for lost time

We feel bad about yesterday. Due to circumstances outside of our control (and at least one that we probably could have done something about, with a little more initiative), we left our regular readers hanging. Sure, there weren't many decent stories, but we could at least have made a couple of "We hope he doesn't shoot anybody" jokes about the guy who held up some bookies with a vibrator, but we failed even at getting that story under our belts.

And that brings us to today. We're going to try and make it up to you, in the hopes that we never fight again. Okay, maybe we didn't fight in the first place, so we're just assuaging our guilt over having missed you all on Monday. And, as our penance, we're delivering two stories to you. One comes from Iowa, and the other comes straight from our wallets to the homeless guy on the street.

Iowa Just Got a Lot More Interesting
When you think of Des Moines, Iowa, what do you think about? A bustling metropolitan center, surrounded on all sides by vast cornfields? One of the refuges of civilization remaining in Iowa? A place where the Amish are outnumbered on a semi-regular basis? Those awesome onion rings?

How about a naked woman with a hammer attacking vans and people? Because that's what happened Sunday night, when police responded to a call. The rear windows of a nearby van had been shattered with a bed frame and Satin Delfrano, who later assaulted a police officer, was found inside the nearby home naked and wielding a hammer. According to the reports, Delfrano had been intoxicated when she began her sky-clad rampage through the neighborhood, and some of the highlights included attempts to gouge out another woman's eyes, and tearing a phone cord from the wall during a 911 call, not to mention kicking the police officer.

Naturally, this is more action than Des Moines has seen in a while, and it also goes to prove a point that we've been trying to make offline for quite some time. That point? The people who you least want to see naked are the ones most likely to engage in public nudity. The hammer, however, was just that extra touch of class to really bring the whole incident to a new level.

Of course, with a first name like Satin, we're also fairly positive that this isn't the first time she's been naked in front of a large group of people.

So They Aren't Going to McDonald's?
We actually want to thank the good people of the Metropolitan Improvement District of the Downtown Seattle Association for the campaign that they launched earlier this summer entitled, "Have a Heart - Give Smart". If it wasn't for this group, we may never have learned that panhandlers have a tendency to spend their money on drugs and alcohol.

No, seriously. We could have sworn all this time that we were helping them put their children through college, and that they really did need that couple of bucks to get a burger at McDonald's. Even more to the point, we had faith that the beggars we encountered were honest, down-on-their-luck types, just trying to scrounge up some change to use the laundromat. We never would have imagined that some of them might have been seeking money just to get drunk or high.

And every time that we hear the story about the guy who's just run out of gas a couple of blocks away with his pregnant wife/girlfriend/poodle in the car, we just tear up a little inside, and we freely hand over our wallets, credit cards, and banking information. We just can't bear to think of the newborn outside of medical care, no matter how many nights in a row the guy ran out of gas on the way to the hospital/veterinary clinic/liquor store.

Seriously, we know that not all beggars are bad people. There are plenty that really do need the money, and they will use it to get a can of Hormel chili, which they'll nurse for days. And there are others who are honest about their intentions to get drunk, and that little slice of honesty makes it a little easier to be honest and/or generous with them back. But we also know of panhandlers who make more money begging than we do. We know of plenty who will turn down a free meal because they'd rather have the money for drugs, but don't want to admit it. And we certainly know of more than a few who are college-aged kids wearing the latest in "homeless chic", just trying to scrounge up those extra couple of bucks to go see Coldplay on tour, all while bathing in patchouli and tastefully applied dirt.

Really, think of panhandlers like you think of just about everyone else you run across in your daily lives. If you think that they're being honest about what they're doing, give them a little something, whether it's your time, your attention, or that bottle of cheap brandy you carry to ward off pit bulls. And if you're fairly certain that they're serving you a steaming pile of lies, then take the only recourse possible.

Convince them to either run for office or start a blog. After all, liberal dosages of untruths are necessary in both businesses. And we should know.

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