Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Beg to Differ

Mama Mia and P2 ~ you tried. You taught me to be safe, look both ways, never talk to strangers, and to call home if I ever needed to. A few times, my date with a Ted Bundy for instance, have indicated I need to listen to you more. In addition, seeing how my name rhymes with a particular biblical term meaning hoochie mama, you’d think I know the disadvantages associated with standing alone on a street corner in a city in which I’m a visitor. Incidentally, that is precisely where this story occurred.

After spending the majority of my first afternoon in Nashville shopping, I backtracked to a few photo spots. I was waiting at a corner for the light to change when a bum approached me and asked how I was. Wanting to be polite, I responded I was well and asked, what turned out to be, a twenty minute question.

“How are you doing?”
I’m sure am hungry.
Don’t take the bait. “I know! I haven’t eaten for hours and until I meet my sister later, I’m just going to have to deal with my stomach growling.”
I am thirsty too.
Don’t fall for this. “Me too! I’ve run out of water and can’t find a drinking fountain anywhere! It’s just so hot out.”
Um, I know. And when it’s hot, people get mean. I just got cussed out by some guy right in front of his young daughter.
He isn’t asking for money…this is different. “Sorry to hear that.”
Yea, all I did was ask for something to eat and he started yelling at me, like I’m a bum or something. When I ask people for money it’s because I’m hungry and I want some soup. I don’t do drugs anymore and drinking only makes you want more alcohol…
Hmm…you are wearing a hat indicating the time is 4:20. Back to the 'I don't do drugs'…what were you saying?
…I don’t even live here. I’m from Oregon.
Oregon?! “What brings you across the country? You a musician?”
No. I’m just a fool in love. I followed a woman out here and she broke my heart. Now I’m trying to get back home.
He actually sounds credible. Love makes people do stupid things. So I’m told anyway. “Home to Oregon?”
Uh huh. Except I’m stuck here. I got on the bus the other day but couldn’t afford a ticket. I got kicked off and thrown in jail. Then when I got released, I was told to quit begging for money. But I’ve got no money to get home so I’m stuck here.
We have walked two blocks now. Can I blog this without a picture? No one will believe this. I need his picture. Make up something. Think! “Sounds like a catch 22.”
I know! And then all I want is a meal and some water and I get cussed out. It’s just because I’ve got this backpack on and haven’t been able to shower every day.
Hence me not standing too close. “Sir, I have a favor to ask you. I’ve been inspired by your story and want a way to remember you. Would you mind taking a picture with me?”
Alright! I’m getting a picture! “Have you ever had someone want to take their picture with you?”
No. You are definitely a first.
“Well thank you for being willing. …now if we can just find someone... ‘Ma’am? Will you please take our picture?’”
Yes! Proof for the blog! “Thanks sir.”
You’re welcome. What’s your name?
“Charlotte.” …and here’s my blog address. “What’s your name?”
Charlie Brown.
What? You don’t believe me?
No. “I’m just smiling because that’s a nickname I went by when I was little. See how much we have in common. Both hungry, thirsty, and similar names.”
Un huh. You sure you don’t have a couple bucks?
Nope. “Here, you can have the rest of my water though.” …well, now I have to find some more water!
God Bless.
"Same to you."


I'm Chrissy! said...

CHARLOTTE! Oh my goodness, I know your parents told you not to talk to strangers. You are so CRAZY!!! And you got a photo! Talk about living to blog...

ThomCarter said...

You always attract the hottest guys.

I hope that you took his number and that you have beautiful children.

charlotta-love said...

Craze: Yes. I have done many a stupid things in my life. That one being one of my best...or worst. whichever way you want to look at it.

Chrissy: "Treat EVERY situation as a future blog." That's my motto.

Thom: So did I ever attract you? plust I don't Charlie has a number.

Charlotte said...

Hmm, you also get called "Biblical word meaning hoochie mama" now and again?

I love this post. It's hilarious.

Dean said...

You should've taken him out on a romantic date. He did come all the way across the country for some chick so maybe he'd give you the same kind of devotion.

Clairissa said...'re a lot nicer than I would've been. I get scared away by people easily. Love that you got a picture of it.

charlotta-love said...

Charlotte: Oh yes. In college friends took up to calling me "Charlotte the Harlot" or Char-Har for short. Friends...gotta love 'em.

Dean: I gave him your number so he could share some of his tips with you.

Clairissa: A picture's worth a 1000 words right?

Michelle Johnson said...

Loved this story and your 3WW submission, as well. I can't say that I would have been brave enough to get a picture but, I can say that I have had a run in with someone living on the street (well, in my case the beach) and it wasn't pretty.


vladtech said...

That was great!! Almost manipulative , in a good way :-)

Oh, BTW, I think you meant to say Catch-22, but I could be wrong.

Jenny from Chicago said...

I grew up away from the big city...when I was in college I had my first encounter with a beggar and as I was handing him money one of my teamates literally grabbed me and pulled me away. She gave me the lecture of a lifetime on street people. I think of her every time I see someone panhandling.

Rose Dewy Knickers said...

I like how you talked to him.



Ingrid said...

That was a pretty funny post. I hope he finds his ay home.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment on my 3WW entry.

charlotta-love said...

Michelle: thanks for stopping by! A beach bum? That would be an interesting story.

Vlad: I fixed it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Jenny: I have received that lecture quite a bit lately...mostly by close friends who read my blog. :o)

Rose: He was a great conversationalist at least.

Ingrid: I hope he finds his way back too.

Above Average Joe said...

You could probably turn that experience into a song for some country star right there in Nashville.

thethinker said...

Thanks for taking the picture. I'm a "see it to believe it" type of person, and now I believe it.

Dorky Dad said...

I, for one, would have believed you without the picture. But that was fantastic.

I've had similar things happen to me, too. I once had a guy walk nearly a mile with me to a gas station in Savannah, Georgia so I could buy him oil for his car.

Shankar said...

I was walking in NYC in '96, wearing a Toronto Blue Jays cap, when I heard a panhandler wearing a Phillies cap call out, "Hey man, you can't just walk past me after what your Blue Jays did to me in '93!" He got a buck.