I was walking down State Street to get lunch yesterday, when a woman standing in front of a Subway asked me for a handout. “I haven’t eaten in two days,” she said, and I had no reason to doubt that. She looked to be in a bad way, smoking the butt of a cigarette and missing many teeth. I’m kind of broke myself right now, but I thought I could swing a sandwich. So we went inside and she ordered a footlong with double meat and grabbed a bag of chips. She tried to take a cup, but the Subway guy gave her a hard time: “You want a cup, get a combo. You’re not cheating me.” I told her to go ahead. The total was $11.83.
I went on my way, and as I was ordering a salad at a place down the street, a guy came in and asked me to buy him lunch. “Sorry,” I told him. “I don’t really have the money.” He left, and I remarked to the counter guy that this was the second time in five minutes that I’d been hit up. “Maybe he’s in on it,” he said, laughing.