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A little less than a happy high
Give me a dollar so I can get drunk
Last Friday, I was sitting in Davis Square waiting for friends when I saw a painfully obese woman in a wheelchair stop, out of breath, in front of the Burren to ask one of the patrons outside to push her three doors down to McDonalds. The patron looked a little scandalized, but assented.

Today, as I was about to cross the street to get to the T in Brookline, an old woman on oxygen braced against a stoop railing stopped me to ask me if I was crossing the street. Strangely enough, I was, and when I shared that with her, she thrust out a handful of ones and asked that I go get her a pack of cigarettes. I demurred, saying, "I hadn’t planned on coming back." She responded with, "It wouldn’t kill you, you know..." "Yeah, I know. But hey look, there’s my train. Nice chatting with you."

Now, I know that everyone has their vices (even me, shocking as that seems...), but it strikes me as sad when you’re not able to satisfy those habits without involving otherwise disinterested bystanders. It begins to border on pathetic when the need for assistance appears to be the result of overindulgence in that same vice. Scenes like these just seem like people attempting to take advantage of the good nature of others. Had O2Woman asked me to run across the street for some milk, I probably would have taken the time to help her out. But for butts? I’d sooner assent to a random bag search on the T.
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margimello From: margimello Date: July 8th, 2004 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
You should've taken the money and yelled from across the street, "it's for your own good!" then run off to ur train.

I guess my vice is abusing the elderly...
komos From: komos Date: July 8th, 2004 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
For a moment, I thought about saying something like, "I'm sorry, I don't believe in the social control embodied in the concept of government-issued currency."

Just so long as you're not asking someone else to kick them in the shins for you, you're doing fine.
From: philbot Date: July 8th, 2004 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
You made the right choice! With the cigarettes and the oxygen tank, she could've exploded!
komos From: komos Date: July 8th, 2004 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I certainly wouldn't want that on my conscience.
From: philbot Date: July 8th, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or on your shirt!
komos From: komos Date: July 8th, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have a feeling that we wouldn't be talking about smores-like melty goodness.
haloedone From: haloedone Date: July 8th, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I might have answered the "It wouldn't kill you, you know..." with a "But it might kill YOU."

Reason enough not to get it for her.
komos From: komos Date: July 8th, 2004 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could have just showed her how to crank up the O2 mixture on her tank so she could get a sweet, sweet natural high.
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komos From: komos Date: July 8th, 2004 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I have a soft spot for the guy in Harvard Square with the sign that reads "Give me a dollar so I can get drunk," do I lose all moral authority here?

No, I haven't helped him, either.
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komos From: komos Date: July 8th, 2004 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's not really admitted to the problem... He's just open with his purpose.

While that may not be a step up from the requests of these folks, it is a nice change from the, "My wife/girlfriend/mother is in a hospital on the Cape, and I need money for crack for a bus" scams.
_meej_ From: _meej_ Date: July 8th, 2004 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Out of curiosity, what were you doing out in Brookline, does it get you out here often, and is it around lunchtime? If it's a yes to the latter two, and you're ever up for it, get in touch and we can get lunch or something =D

Oh, and I promise not to go to McDeath or buy me cancer stix.
komos From: komos Date: July 8th, 2004 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm out there twice a week or so for a visit to my special friend. I'm usually tied up for the duration, unfortunately.
_meej_ From: _meej_ Date: July 9th, 2004 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Tied up for the duration, eh? Sounds like a very special friend indeed! :D

But on a serious note, OK. If you ever decide you'd want to snare a little extra time, though, let me know.
canonfire From: canonfire Date: July 8th, 2004 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
My dad's on oxygen now because of that shit. no one's EVER asking me to buy smokes or else I'm gonna let them know how smoking has killed THREE of my grandparents and will kill my father.
komos From: komos Date: July 8th, 2004 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's rough. I'm very sorry.
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