Beggar with a stick?
Even though I am perfectly capable of defending myself I do not like to fight people. Martial arts have helped me realize that real power comes not from becoming stronger but from knowing how to control your strength. It has been a while since I even considered using force, but a beggar today almost made me react with violence.
After having a wonderful lunch with some friends at the Colombian restaurant some of us decided to head downtown KCMO to take some pictures. The day was gorgeous, warm but with a wonderful breeze. The buildings looked awesome because of the clear sky above. We were joking around, having a great time when someone approached us.
I am used to beggars. I spent six months working downtown Chicago and during that time encountered many. Only once before had I had any issues with a bum. One night out with some of my motorcycle friends did a beggar actually tried to start something. He was not very bright, six guys with their motorcycles to protect from being tipped over by an excited beggar, yea, that could have turned pretty ugly. However, that day one of my friends decided to just talk the guy out of harassing us for money and actually ended up getting a free pen from the guy. Not sure if it was my friend’s talk or that he saw that more and more dudes were getting off their motorcycles and surrounding him.
I have the feeling that the guy that approached us was more of a mugger than a beggar, but he just did not get the chance. He was working with at least two other people but I did not know that when he first approached us. As he approached us he made his first mistake, he insulted the Cubs by saying that I should burn my T-shirt. I know that beggars that really want your sympathy are going to lie and say they love your team no matter what shirt you have on. That made my brain go into alert mode, this might not just be a beggar but someone trying to maybe grab our camera and run for it. If he would have known that both of the guys there had just played soccer earlier during the day and we were spent maybe he would have tried.
He asked for 90 cents but his story for needing it was just to discombobulated to even remember. I said we had no cash, which was true, and proceeded to tell him sorry. I was with 3 other people, two of them being woman. I am very protective and I was ready to push him away if he tried to touch any of us. Lucky for him, he decided to keep walking. The other guy with us is 6’2″ and can bench press my weight with no problem. I kept an eye on the guy as he walked away and we continued our walk. I started to look around to see if there was other people but the street was pretty empty. During our time downtown we had see a couple of cops on segways but they were not on sight now.
While I was looking around me the guy had just scored a dollar from someone else he asked for money. At that point he has no reason to comeback with us if basic math is part of his begging logic. Then I notice the two other people working with him. There is a girl sitting on some steps outside of one of the buildings and a younger kid. I eventually see them all talking.
We had already decided to go home to catch a TV show and we started to head for the car. I kept on checking the street and seeing what was going on all around. I was very surprised when I saw the guy following and picking up his speed. I told the group to keep going and move. We were one street away from the car and the guy was going to catch up right as we crossed the street.
I stayed two steps behind and waited for him. I was ready to hurt the guy at this point. I knew that the people I was with would have enough time to get to the car if I held the guy there. Lucky he did not come near me but he did ask for 64 cents. I told him you already got a dollar so just move along. He mumbled something under his breath and I yelled, just leave us alone.
I crossed the street and waited for everyone to get in the car while I waited on the corner making sure nobody was coming our way. I got into the car and we took off.
I had people that I felt needed to be protected and I was ready to do so. I know that it is not the smartest thing to confront people like that, but I was left with no choice having no money to give. I was ready to inflict harm on someone else and I do not like that feeling. Even thought I knew what I was going to have to do, I was not looking forward to it. I am glad that guy decided just to keep on going instead of starting some kind of confrontation.