Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Charity challenge

As I sat drinking my large skinny latte, which cost me all of £2.76, and reading my newspaper, I heard a middle-aged man who had approached a couple on the sofa nearby asking:

'Could you spare me two pounds for a cup of coffee?'

'No, said the seated man.'

''Why not?' persisted the chap doing the begging, who didn't look like a beggar actually. He seemed quite neat and clean.

'Well for one thing,' said the seated man, growing irritated, 'I doubt you'd really use it to buy coffee. More likely booze.'

'I would. Coffee, not drink.'

'And for another thing, this is a rather expensive place to buy a coffee, even the cheapest one costs more than two pounds.'

'Just give me enough then, please.'

'Do you really want a cup of coffee?'


'Well out of that door and about ten yards along the street there is the Salvation Army centre, and they'll give you a cup of coffee for free if you ask them. They'll even give you two cups, I'm sure, and some soup and a sandwich I expect.'

'Fuck off,' declared the beggar.

And after that curse he turned and looked at me, but immediately just turned around again and walked away.


  1. It must have been the glint in your eyes ;-)

  2. I can sort of see where he is coming from. The Salvation Army is charity and you have to work to get enough to buy a coffee through begging. Perhaps he sees it as his form of gainful employment.

  3. That first man showed such a miserable spirit. Somehow, I wish I had been there, and been able to reverse the roles. When I'm approached, I always think, "There but for the grace of the gods, I am." And I always give the toonie ($2-coin).

    So what if he buys a drink? Don't we ever have any? Or an extra piece of cake? If it would be in my power to reform the world, or that particular beggar, I would try. In the past, I did help a few of them get back on their feet. It takes a lot of time, and unjudgemental kindness.

    Until I can give it to you, have a drink on me, man. Cheers!

  4. In this piece I am on the beggar's side. And on Claude's.

    Re the seated man: No comment.