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And Now For Something Completely Different

I know you were probably expecting some kind of blog post on Expo today. Don’t worry, I will put one together  this weekend.  Right now, I want to share with you an experience I had Thursday evening downtown.  I was walking back to my car from a meeting (Nicky Blaines) when I heard someone call my name.  Well, they didn’t call my name directly they yelled out “radio man”.  Now seeing how Garrison and Amos weren’t around, I figured they were talking to me.  So I walked over and it was a rather large woman who appeared homeless.  She was engaging two out of towners and asked me if I believed there were homeless people in Indianapolis? I told her I believed there were homeless in Indianapolis and there were also people pretending to be homeless and were trying to pull a scam.

At that point she asked for money, I told her I don’t give to individuals, I give to charity.  That was when she proceeded to lecture me.  And somewhere in the inane banter I thought to myself “how does this ‘homeless’ woman know I’m on the radio?  So I started going down the list.   She has a radio which means she has an outlet which means she has electricity which means she has an apartment or a house. But then I thought you can’t see me on the radio so she either has a television and has seen me on RTV 6 or she has a computer and logs on to our station’s website and has seen my photo.  Or course it could also be she’s read my column in the Indianapolis Star.  I’m not quite sure what it was but it was pretty obvious this woman was not homeless.  If anything, she was a prime candidate for type-2 diabetes, but homeless, I don’t think so.

I am all for helping people.  I give to charity, my wife volunteers and gives at her church.  But I don’t give to street beggars, especially the ones not smart enough to know how to really pull a scam and then have the nerve to get an attitude when you tell them no.  So hopefully the woman who was begging will listen to me on the radio, watch me on television or read my work in the newspaper or on the Internet and take a hint.  Or who knows, I might just see her downtown this weekend during the Expo festivities and I’ll tell her myself.

  • Turk182

    Watch your back Abdul, maybe it was Larry, in disquise!

  • Jack

    This may sound hard hearted, in addition to agreeing with Abdul, I am both uncomfortable and upset with the many seeking to beg at so many places.  A) I am not from Indy but when downtown I am not happy about the people on about every street corner–and thus avoid when at all possible; B) in a town close to where I live, the several persons that are at road intersections –same people every day and while these are less intrusive than the street beggers it still a sight rather not be tolerated.  I agree with Abdul in making contributions of time and money to organizations.  Realize that some of the homeless have very serious issues which are often mental, realize that the economy has not favored some, but also realize that due to contributions to these people encourages  and some make a very good tax free income (which may be used well but too often is used to support their bad problems.)
    The answer to all this is totally beyond me–we are heartless if do not offer assistance, we are heartless if we insist enforcement of laws/codes forbidding—thus they feed on a guilt trip philosophy.

  • Blackhero

    Maybe it was Wilson dressed up as a fat black lady

  • Think Again

    The Homeless problem here is similar to many other cities–wrapped up in a lot of complicated formulas.


    I don’t give to street people either.  The lady you’re describing sounds like the lady who sits at the Nordstrom’s corner much of the time.  I saw her last weekend arguing with some Kappas.  Kinda cruel of them–you feel better, big man, by yelling at a street beggar?  They blew her some major-league crap.  She gave as good as she got.

    Too many of the downtown beggars have become overly aggressive.  If you say “no thanks” or something similarly kind, they often have a snotty comeback.

    I’ll continue to support charities who help the truly needy.  These street-corner folks are annoying.

    Nice logic though, radio man.  Either she’s got an apartment or a very long extension cord.

    Carry on my wayward son.  There will be peace when you are done.

  • Nick

    My wife and I were in Broad Ripple late one evening this week when a member of a group of aspiring Rastafarian white kids asked if I would like to contribute to their personal journey to happiness and I gave them a nonsensical reply of Thank you so much but no.

    Certainly annoying, but don’t pretend to know how to really solve this problem.

  • Abdul Is My Hero

    Is your ego so big that you have to make up a story to shamelessly plug all of your “jobs”? I guess the answer is yes.

  • Wurstnitemare

    Its getting much worse on Mass ave. In front of the Old Point tavern seems to be a great place to them to procure funding. I agree they have gotten much more aggressive, I guess that they have been watching MSNBC and know that they are entitled to our money.

    There is one lady in particular that is always wearing about ten sweatshirts and talking to herself. Obviously she has some mental issues, that a whole different story. One cannot help but feel for her.

  • Abdul

    I have no shame!

  • Abdul

    I have no shame!

  • pascal

    Spare us a reprise of Black Expo.  The less said about it the less it stinks and ruins the public perception of Indianapolis.

  • guest

    Tell her next time to call the Black Baptists Ministers Alliance.

  • cynical sam

    My own pat answer to the begging questions askied as I walk by:

    “I gave at the office, the IRS office”  They normally smile and depart.

  • cynical sam

    My own pat answer to the begging questions askied as I walk by:

    “I gave at the office, the IRS office”  They normally smile and depart.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe she just thought you had a face for radio.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe she just thought you had a face for radio.

  • Anonymous

    Had a man get out of late-model truck at McDonalds and ask me for beer money.

    Well, actually, he said something about needing a few bucks to buy gas to take his pregnant daughter to the hospital. But the correct translation was, “I’m outta beer money.”

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a sad statistic:

    Reuter’s Health is reporting that black men survive longer in prison than out.

    In fact, “Black men are half as likely to die at any given time if they’re in prison . . . ”

    “The black prisoners seemed to be especially protected against alcohol- and drug-related deaths, as well as lethal accidents and certain chronic diseases.”

    Correct my math if I’m wrong, but that indicates that black men are 2x as likely to die if they are not in prison. It also indicates the leading cause of death among black men is crime-related as opposed to natural.

    What’s more, if we subtract the growing middle-class males who are not at high risk, the numbers could substantially change for the worse.

    White men were slightly more likely to die in prison.


    There’s the problem.

    What’s the solution?

  • Taxpayer_834512

    We’ve devaluated the worth of millions of (then) children, who grew-up to be the next generation of parents more attentive to a check in mail than the earnest child-rearing to earn it.  You can include a lot of parenting that didn’t get a check in the mail as well.     

    Forget parenting, we don’t even believe in citizenship.  You really have to ponder why we’re degenerating to dogs attacking customers in fast food outlets?  This is civilization?

    If you want to change it, demand accoutability.  Demand the law be enforced with an overall expectation of civic responsiblity from rich and poor, young and old, black and white, Republican and Democrat, Christian and Muslim- or expect to be in one of these packs as a member- or a victim. 

    If there’s not enough responsibility, if there are more people shot-up again at Black Expo, then changes need to happen.  It’s nuts to do it year after year.  How the heck can Terry Curry get away with this Omnisource deal?  Why does Ryan Vaughn get away with not recusing himself when he has an obvious conflice of interest in city council?  How can IPS get away with rotating failed administrators for years as kids don’t graduate?

    How bad does it have to get to hold people accountable for their actions?  I say that’s the problem and the solution.  

  • pascal

    Unheavenly City, by Banfield, suitably insulated by decades of time from the current messes, could be read with profit now by all who have any interest in viewing and reviewing the options.
       I think his “class” commentary is especially useful. “Low Class” actually has a precise meaning.

  • Marksmall2001

    As a person raised on a farm and educated at a small college in a small town in Indiana, I learned about life in the big city when I lived in Chicago. When aproached by a pandhandler, make no eye contact, say “No” (succinctly and without emotion), and walk on.

  • cynical sam

    How bad does it have to get? Think 1789, or my favorite, 1793 and the creation of The Committee of Public Safety. Ahhh, where is Robespierre when you need him?

  • John Howard

    Perhaps she listens to your program while chewing on the tin foil her heroin was wrapped in.