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Tag Archives: homeless

Soundbites From My Father

17 Nov

November 17, 2018

With the Holiday Season™ upon us, I’d like to share a pair of quick tales of my father, whose wisdom never fails to guide me. It may occasionally guide me into a snowbank like a bad GPS, but it guides me nonetheless.

CHARITY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

During this time of year, with Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas around the corner, many of us are in a giving mood and want to help the less fortunate. My Dad felt no less charitable himself, and he often enlisted my brother and I to deliver food to needy families as part of his lodge’s outreach. We carried many, many boxes and bags of canned goods, meat and vegetables, and all kinds of staples to up and down stairs to needy families who truly appreciated our efforts. It was touching.

One day, after one of these deliveries, my father and I were approached by a homeless man asking for change. My father refused. You’d think that after doing a day of charity work and seeing the needy up close, Dad would have been a little more forthcoming. I asked him why not and he said to me “Son, never give money to someone who is wearing better sneakers than you are.”

FAMILY GATHERINGS

Holidays are a time for sharing the love of friends and family. One year my father took my brother and I out to dinner. My brother, bless his heart, asked who was paying. Dad said the meal was on him. We went out and enjoyed dinner and at the end of the night, I turned to my brother and said that we should leave the tip. “No,” my brother replied. This is a free meal. I’m not leaving the tip. “Free is free.” While my brother was the one who coined the phrase, It was Dad who turned it into a family mantra.

There you have it. Holiday wisdom, from Mr. Blog’s family to yours.

 

 

 

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Fine Dining on the Subway

1 Jun

June 1, 2018

Ah, the subway during rush hour. The crowds, the pushing and shoving, the smells, the body odor, the homeless, the rats, the unidentifiable flecks floating in the air. Doesn’t it make you hungry?

Not me.

I really don’t know how people do it but I see it every day. Just yesterday a woman was sitting in a seat, crowded on all sides, with a series of plastic bags open on her lap and the dirty floor between her feet and from them she was taking the makings of tortillas, which she made and ate while the odor of the homeless guy across from her wafted through the air like mustard gas in World War One. 

But what is even more inconceivable to me, yet I see it more than a few times each week, is the bizarre phenomenon of people taking home pizza on the subway. 

Picture it. Rush hour. Crowds. People pressed together. And someone forces their way on the train carrying a large box that has to be held straight out and flat, taking up the room of two other people. It pokes the already crowded commuters in their backs and gets shoved and wrestled. This happens. I see it a lot. A guy gets on at Union Square in Manhattan and takes a pizza all the way home, 45 minutes, to Bay Parkway. Of course by the time he gets it home it’ll be cold, probably squashed, and it’ll have been traveling through the subway where the air has more rat particles per square inch than an actual rat. Appetizing! And worse, the part of Brooklyn he traveled to with the pizza has more pizzerias than you can shake stick at. There are a dozen within walking distance of my house, no lie. Why not wait until you get home and order a pizza? Fresh and hot! And untainted by the body odor of underground denizens.

So even assuming the pizza from Union Square is the greatest pizza in the known world, after being shaken and crushed on the train, and after getting cold in an hour of travel, and after being exposed to the foul air underground, how good is that pizza going to taste?

Is it worth it?

 

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