Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

Confusing Guy on the BART

On the way home on Thursday there was a guy that got onto the BART at the 16th & Mission station with me. He had a sleeping bag/bedroll and a backpack. The first thing he did was set his bags in the four-seat (two sets of two seats facing each other) I was in and start asking around for money. Spare change is what he started with. While his bags were sitting across from me he started to walk down the car asking people, realized his bags were unprotected, and came running back to see if I would watch them. I said I wouldn’t and then pushed the issue by asking if I was getting off soon. To that he only got silence, which he must have thought I was going to watch his crap, because he went down the car asking for money. Then our next stop comes up and he sits next to me leaving his two items on the two seats across from us. As people come in and are standing he starts saying “I’ll give you my seat for a dollar.” No one is taking him up on it and he’s hogging three seats at this point. Does he stop there? Oh no. He says, and this is the kicker, “You can have this seat for a dollar. There ain’t no negotiating because I’m not your prisoner. I’m not your prisoner. Well, not yet.” The people behind us apparently have had enough and leave to goto the next car. He quickly pounces on the open two seater by stuffing his bags and himself back there. One would think it would end there, but no. He starts hitting the car again, fresh victims from the downtown SF stops of course. As he walks be he starts asking people if he’s already asked them for money. My favorite reply was a quite burly fellow with “Whatever it is you’re asking I don’t have it and I don’t want any.” He said it with his eyes closed and his head tipped down, chin to chest. As soon as he’s done with hitting up the car again he goes into his sob stories. He’s trying to get to the house of a friend that just passed away because the neighbors will help him. He needs money for the bus so he can get there (unless of course he gets a FREE bus transfer at his destination station in the East Bay). His girlfriend is in the hospital so he wants to go see her. He’s broke and needs some help. It went on for a bit. At some point this pan-handler starts rattling off his home page URL. I’m not going to bother publishing it here because he doesn’t need any more hits. Sometimes the length people will go to to get money for nothing. As readers can guess I didn’t give him anything. I have a hard time stomaching pan-handlers where there are jobs available, they just don’t want to do them (and for the record, were I down on my luck I would do everything I could to make ends meet, even getting taking a shitty job for little pay. Yes, there are times when that’s not enough, but every little bit helps). I also don’t like the way SF pays homeless people, but I’ll stay out of that one until I live there and I’ll just keep bringing my lunch every day so as little of my tax dollars go toward that as possible.