Why Bums piss me off and how I pick who gets my money

ImageBums piss me off. They sit there with their little handmade signs with various words and phrases scrawled across some second hand piece of cardboard and hold their hand, hat, or cup out for people to put money in. Wouldn’t THAT be a way to make a living. Yet, for some people, that is just it. I particularly like the ones that sit there with crutches next to them. Now before you go all “OMG-she is talking about a cripple that way!” Um, no, I have seen real people with real injuries and these people are fakes. Also, before you get your panties in a bunch, I completely understand that some “bums” are people with mental illness or have other back stories that we shouldn’t judge them on. I get it. These ones I am talking about are CON ARTISTS.

I’m talking about this because right now I am in Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, so of course there are bums. Lots of them. Also, there are a lot of different kinds here. I can group them in categories:

  • Bums with dogs
  • Bums faking injuries
  • Bums with talent
  • Bums sitting on their bums

That pretty much sums it up. I say “Bums” because I don’t know if they are homeless. Plus I met a homeless person here who does not fit into these “Bum” categories because they were homeless, not a bum. Anyways, they piss me off. They just go around asking for money. I was at Starbucks so I could get wireless internet for a few minutes and while sitting there drinking the coffee I felt I needed to buy to use said internet, a bum who I had definitely seen before on multiple occasions around the city came through the throng of tables with a little wallet open to the customers. Get. The. Fuck. Out. He was a “fake injury” bum and did not deserve my money. He was young and able bodied. I had recognized him from other crowded places in the city and he pissed me off. Instead of walking around with your ugly little wallet out, do SOMETHING.

Here, I have accumulated a healthy stash of pennies and 2 cent pieces. While checking out at nearly every register, the cashier and the line behind me always seems so impatient so the only time I ever use coins smaller than €1 is for my train tickets. So what am I to do with all my coins? Give them away! I have almost €1 in pennies (which is a good sized handful). I choose carefully when I figure out who to give them to. The winning “bum”? The ones who are actually doing something to earn your hard earned money.

Bums playing the accordion: YES

Bums sitting while their dog plays dead: NO

Bums standing on their head: YES

Bums sitting on their bums: NO

Bums doing a split: YES

Bums who spit: NO

Bums looking bright eyed and bushy tailed with a big friendly smile: YES

Bums hiding their faces: NO

Bums with clever signs: YES

Bums with misspellings on their signs: NO

Bums doing tricks: YES

Bums smoking cigarettes: NO


I figure if they are willing to “earn” their money (see splits, headstands, and tricks), I might as well help a brother out. Otherwise, to the con-artists looking to make an easy buck, fuck off, I had to work for my money, so should you.


*I take such a stance on the injuries part because I have seen a man WITH NO LEGS playing the accordion. He had a real injury AND was musically inclined. Beat THAT Mr. I pretend to use crutches and accost people at Starbucks!*



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