We came across a few people begging for money in the U District today. In these tough economic times, people are less likely than ever to toss a handful of change at filthy people. If you're begging from Seattleites, here are a few hints.
1. Please phrase your request in the form of a question. "Food, please?" for instance, works better than "Food!" A guy yelled "food" at us as we passed him today. People in Seattle are cautious, and we don't make eye contact easily. Randomly shouting out nouns will never work.
2. When stealing, think reasonable. We were offered a box of obviously stolen Godiva chocolates for a mere five bucks. Now, I don't know that much about black markets, but typically they involve stereos and valuable stuff sold from shady alleys, right? Three people in line for a Kurosawa film are probably not in need of black market chocolates. Even pirated DVDs would have made some sense...
3. Try an area of the city with money. This part of town is for college kids and people wandering among college kids to see movies. If we had a ton of spare cash, would we be within a country mile of a college student? The tight pants alone would have us hiding in shame, as well they should. Actually if I had a ton of money I would have hired a dozen toughs to chase away all the college kids on the block, punching each tight-panted man child in the junk as they shooed them away. I wouldn't waste it on stolen chocolate or noun-shouters.
So, best of luck, pan handlers! I hope Microsoft starts hiring again soon so you get off the streets and back at the keyboard.