Friday, May 05, 2006

Tramp Secrets

On one of the secret members-only forums that I read, a guy from London made this post which I thought was quite interesting:

I was waiting for a bus on London's Oxford Street a couple of years ago. There had been some kind of accident, so no buses were coming - but that afforded me the opportunity to watch a street beggar at work for 40 minutes.

It was astounding.

He sat on the pavement (sidewalk) outside Macdonalds, wrapped in a dirty blanket and with a small dog sleeping by his side. His torn piece of cardboard read 'We are hungry and homeless, please help."

He had a few low value coins in a hat in front of him.

Every time someone threw a coin in his hat (and 9 times out of ten it was a Pound coin ($1.75)) his hand immediately darted out and removed the high value coin to under his blanket. It was like watching close up magic he did it so fast!

In 20 minutes I counted up that he was given around £50 ($87) - making his hourly rate £150 or about $260. Not bad.

The funny thing was that near the end of my watching time a kindly old lady took it upon herself to go into Macdonalds and bought him a Big Mac and a cup of coffee. Then she stood and talked with him while he had to eat it.

That well intentioned meal must have cost him a huge amount of revenue because nobody gave him any money all the time she was there. She must have cost him at least £25 ($44)!

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