Monday, September 30, 2013


Homeless people confuse me.

Of course, we've all heard the stories of impostors clearing six figures begging on busy Manhattan street corners, then hopping back in their Beamers to head back to their penthouses and enjoy their tax-free earnings.

Last week, an ostensibly homeless girl on the corner of 6th and Taylor in downtown Portland looked up from her iPhone 5c just in time to see me walk by. Without even attempting to conceal her expensive mobile device, she asked me for money.

I pulled a middle finger out of my pocket.

However, some homeless people appear to genuinely be in need. I'm aware that mental illness runs rampant among the homeless population, and that a few of those individuals who hold signs proudly advertising the fact that they are military veterans are, in fact, military veterans. Perhaps they're suffering from extreme PTSD, or war injuries, although judging by the fact that the US military has always been generous with its pension plans, I find the fact that these vets are now on the streets somewhat hard to believe.

Still, they can't all be lying, can they?

In my opinion, honesty is always the best policy. Well, personal hygiene is a pretty good policy, too, but if you're homeless, honesty is a lot easier to come by.

There's a guy in northeast Portland that I've given money to a handful of times. He always wears a smile and holds the same sign. It simply reads: “Why lie? I need a beer.”

That's something I can get behind. I can only hope that he has a discerning palate and uses my generous donations to buy a decent IPA or porter, not a 40 of Hamm's. Hamm's is not beer. It is Satan's urine. Don't be fooled.

Recently, I ate at Taco Bell. I actually went inside with some friends and sat down. Don't judge me. Their new Cantina burritos actually look and smell different entering your body than they do on their way out, which is a good start. While feeding on this bounty, I was approached by a homeless man, who asked me to buy him a taco.

Whenever homeless people ask for food, I have no problem obliging. After all, it's tough (albeit not impossible) to use a taco to buy meth. You just simply wouldn't get a whole lot of meth in return.

So, I bought the guy a 99-cent soft taco. When I handed it to him, he glanced down at it with disdain, and said, “I wanted the six-taco combo box.”

Although I was tempted to rip the taco back out of his greedy hands and beat him with it to prove a point, I quickly realized that due to my poor decision to purchase a soft taco, it really wouldn't do a whole lot of damage. I resolved to henceforth only purchase hard tacos for homeless people to alleviate this problem. Flaccid tacos simply don't get the point across effectively when they're used as weapons.

Why did this ungrateful douchewaffle ask for more tacos? Did he realize that with six tacos, he could barter for six times as much meth? Was he simply hungry and devoid of the mental capacity to determine that his request would imply ingratitude? Or was it just a manifestation of the general sense of entitlement that pervades today's American society, corrupting spoiled kids, tax-exempt billionaires, and homeless douchewaffles alike?

For the record, douchewaffles aren't just entitled frat boys anymore. That was 2005. This is 2013. Douchewaffles have now 'grown up', clung to their irrevocable sense of douchey entitlement, and are now homeless or living in their parents' basements. They have gotten so douchewaffley that they might now be more aptly categorized as Belgian douchewaffles.

At the risk of sounding like a Tea Partier, I'm sick and tired of Americans and their abuses of the government systems that have been put in place for times of need. Unemployment is for just that: times when you're unemployed and actively looking for work, not for times when you feel like sitting in your parents' basement for two years, playing video games and getting fat on Doritos that you bought with your food stamps, all the while 'applying' for positions that you are completely unqualified for to appease governmental requirements. Wait, your last job was at McDonald's eight years ago, and you just applied to be the CFO of a Fortune 500 company? Good luck with that.

Speaking of McDonald's, is it really that hard to get hired there? Couldn't 95 percent of homeless and unemployed people alike get a job at a fast-food restaurant, work their way up, get their own place, and eventually move on to bigger and better things, instead of being a tax liability to the rest of us, suckling at the teat of social welfare until it's shriveled, chafed and dry?

In a perfect world, welfare, food stamps, and socialized healthcare are great ideas. So are communism, gun ownership rights, and genetic manipulation. The truth is, though, there is a percentage of the population that would simply rather take advantage of, and ultimately ruin and bankrupt, the systems that they depend on. Go for it, lady: get knocked up. Have seven kids by ten different fathers, and collect a little more welfare. It's the American way.

Unfortunately, you can't legislate integrity. Douchewaffles will continue to cheat the system. Hear about the woman in Michigan who continued to collect welfare for years after winning millions in the lottery?

Here's a novel idea for you, Mr. and Ms. American: work hard and make a living. Stop complaining about how you lost your job and go find another one. Maybe it won't comprehensively utilize your massive skill set. Maybe it doesn't pay as much as your last job. Maybe it means a serving of humble pie. Maybe it means you can't sit on your couch and play whatever it is you gamers are playing these days.

But, with Social Security crumbling, employers cutting benefits and pensions, and whole states on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, wouldn't it make you happy to know that you're now contributing to our country's long-term chance at survival, rather than eating away at its foundation like a hungry termite?

I'm not trying to be heartless to those who are genuinely in need. But to those of you who aren't, grow up and do your part.

Don't be a douchewaffle.