Friday, August 13, 2010

Underthinking - Interesting encounter

Last week whilst walking the streets of Dunedin, I was meet by a little old lady. She seemed sweet enough, I said hello, she then asked if I had any spare change?
Now being the generous guy that I am and presuming she wished to catch the bus or play bowls or whatever it is old people do with spare change these days, I starting searching my pockets for change.

You need to go over to that desk and pay 60 cents to play here


I had gotten into my first pocket when she amended her original request to "Do you have 9 dollars?"
This is no longer a request for whatever I could spare, but for a rather specific amount.
Now I know that change is a very ambiguous term, I mean if I had just paid for an $11 item with $20 note, then $9 would have been my change. So she was staying within the confines of her original request.
But the spareness of the change certainly starts to change status when you get anywhere over $3-$4. I mean with the advent of the 1,2,3 dollar store, even lesser change is no longer considered spare.

 A Beggar's worst nightmare

By the time I had gotten to my 5th pocket (I was wearing a large jacket) she had explained to me, she was on her way to the 4-square to buy a bottle of wine. So I presume she left the house forgetting her purse and was now too embarrassed to return to retrieve it. Because I don't believe anyone would head to the store hoping they can collect the money on the way, especially on low pedestrian traffic routes on a rainy day. Although this may explain why she was hoping to get the whole $9 from me.
She was starting to get agitated I didn't have any loose change let alone $9 worth, she started suggesting which pockets I should check for money. Now I am starting to feel guilty for not being able to give her the $9, how did this happen?

You owe me 9 dollars

 Needless to say, I finished searching all my pockets, and being a product of the cashless society I had nothing to give her.

 A Beggar's 2nd worst nightmare

So I continued on my way, secure in the knowledge I had attempted to help, but feeling slightly depressed I wasn't able too.

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