Archive | 9:28 pm

Paved with good intentions…

5 Mar

My parents were in town this last weekend, so we walked down to the Smithsonian to see an Annie Lebowitz exhibit at the American Art Museum. On our way, we swung into Five Guys to grab a burger for lunch.

The portions are huge, so although we’d only ordered a small fry, we ended up with (what appeared to be) an entire order left over. Rather than toss the food, we packaged it neatly with some ketchup, napkins and a dish of peanuts to give to a homeless person.

Nice thought, right? Turns out, it was better in theory.

The first homeless man we passed was peering into a garbage can when we spotted him. I approached and held out the bag, saying, “Would you like some french fries?”

He didn’t make eye contact and just turned his head away from me a hawked a loogey on the sidewalk in response.

I’ll take that as a no.

The next person I approached was a disheveled looking guy pacing around a newspaper box talking to himself. I walked up and was in the process of presenting the bag to him, about to open my mouth, when I noticed he had a bluetooth in his ear and was apparently on the phone.

I quickly retracted my arm, leaving him standing there, staring at me, no doubt wondering why I’d just come and waved my Five Guys bag in his face.

Remarkably, as we neared the entrance to the museum, I still hadn’t found anyone to give the food to. I eyed the trashcan nervously and scanned the benches flanking the steps.

BINGO. An elderly woman sat there, looking a bit out of it and decidedly homeless. She was the last possibility to keep those fries from going in the trashcan. I strode up to her and – as I got closer – I realized she had a full goatee.

And yet, as we made eye contact, I had my doubts. Was she homeless? Or did she just lack a razor? Confused, I simply set the bag of french fries on the bench next to her and — not wanting to offend her if she wasn’t homeless — simply said — [ready for this?] —

“You might want to check this out.” 

Um. WHAT?! What kind of approach was that? It totally sounded creepy. Like – “Go ahead. Open this. There’s some crazy shit in here.”

She gave me a puzzled, searching look and I hustled back to my parents. “Quick! Let’s get in the museum,” I urged them.

“Why?” my mom asked. “What did she say?”

“Nothing,” I told her. “But I’m worried she might not be homeless and she might throw those fries at us.”

My mom shook her head. “No way. She was definitely homeless. She didn’t have any teeth, Alison.”

And at this point, I’m pretty sure my dad – who had watched all this silently – interjected with all seriousness, “Then those peanuts might have been a bad inclusion.”

Indeed.

Next time? I’ll just buy a paper from the Street Sense vendor. At least now I know why they wear flourescent vests.

This has nothing to do with this post. Other than that it's about a peanut and it's hilarious. That's where the relevance ends.