So, we were out for a stroll. It was a cool but sunny day. We both noticed a fellow, about a block ahead, sitting in a wheelchair, holding out a cup to passersby. It is our habit to drop what change we have into hands, or cups or caps. But, this time, as we dug in our pockets, we didn't have any change to give. It is also our habit to smile at or acknowledge in some way those who are asking for money. I refuse to make invisible those who are, often, highly visible.
As we got close we could hear him speaking to others ahead of us. His was not a gentle or kindly ask. He badgered people. When we passed I smiled at him and before I could say we had no change he said, "I don't need your fucking smile, I need money." Then he held out his leg to show that there was infection on his ankle. Whatever he said, we didn't have change on us. We kept going. There was nothing more we could figure to do or say.
Two blocks later we heard our names called, we stopped and turned around to find the grinning face of a friend of ours. After greeting each other he asked if we had been accosted by the fellow in the wheelchair asking for money. We said that we had. He told us of his encounter. The fellow asked him for some change. He, like we, also is someone who gives out change, but he had none. When said this, the man paused and said, "Well, then, can you spare a Viagra?"
We all howled.
I took great joy in pointing out that the man didn't assume that I needed Viagra! Our friend shyly admitted that he hadn't had those with him either as he hadn't anticipated using them on his walk to the store.
"Hey brother can you spare ... "
Needs are needs.