29.9.12

BUY A TRAMP A SANDWICH

Tonight I bought a tramp a sandwich.

But not this one....


Now, before you start ringing up Buckingham Palace to nominate me for the New Year's Honour's List I have to confess... at first, I ignored him.

Yes.

By the way, is it wrong to call them tramps?
We always called the homeless tramps when I was a kid, but then that seems a bit "Knight Of The Road"- or even a bit Disney....




Whatever you call them, homeless, destitute, socially-deprived, or if you're a Tory "plebs", I ignored a man without a home tonight as if it was second-nature.

A homeless man, sat in a busy street, held out his hand and asked for my help and yet I walked on, pretending to listen to a podcast that had finished about three minutes earlier.

Because the podcast had finished, and because the earphones were still in their designed location, I simply went to my Pavlovian response of "No change, mate. Sorry."

But he hadn't asked for change.

He hadn't even asked for a fag.

He didn't do that thing where he "really needs to get to Doncaster cos his sister's having a baby and just needs 43p"..

He wanted a sandwich.

Something to eat.

He was sitting by the cashpoint of a major supermarket in a busy city street as various Saturday Nighters went by in their drunken fancy dress, hoping that someone would listen to him. And just like me they feigned phone calls, i-pods, selective hearing and many, many other ruses to ignore the fact that he was simply hungry.

I felt deeply ashamed.

I went into said supermarket and got him a sandwich.

But even then I considered getting him a Value egg n' cress!

"What the fuck?" I thought, almost aloud.

The man is hungry. He's not trying to buy White Lightning or crack, although I wouldn't blame him if he was.

Get the man a proper sandwich!!

So I did.

Over the past week we have seen many news reports about flooding and torrential downpours and people bucketing rainwater out of their cellars. Some have been hit by the unseasonal weather a number of times (and had their efforts undermined by cartoonish, background umbrella swordfights in news reports - 54 seconds in..)

But some have NO homes.
Through no fault of their own.
They live amongst us and we pretend not to see them.

We're busy.
We're late for work.
Have no loose change.
Only pay by card.
Got a call.
Listening to disembodied voices or songs while the reality is at our feet just asking for a sandwich.

I'd given up on this Blog.

I couldn't be arsed, to be honest, I've been feeling very, very low for about eight months, since my break-up with the tiny beautiful ex-girlfriend, but I'm sat in a house with the radiators on and the doors shielding me from the cold, writing this bollocks and thinking of a man in a doorway who only wanted a sandwich.

It's Saturday Night.
Most people are out drinking and having a good time.

Proportionately, they will come into contact with a homeless person.

They'll drop their money.
They'll start a fight in a takeaway.
They'll argue with a cab driver.

If you're one of them - Fuck getting a kebab.



Buy a tramp a fucking sandwich.