So last week I posted my brilliant idea of what I would do the next time someone came to me in White Plains begging for money… that was, make them work for it. If they wanted money, I’d give it to them, if and only if they sand or danced on camera. In fact the same man returned, the one I was referring to in that post, again asking for dollars. And thus began my evening in White Plains yesterday.

Dollar man was looking for a dollar, and I said that I would give him one if he danced or sang. I even pulled the dollar out of my pocket. I later said that I’d give it for doing just about anything, including telling a joke. So I turned on the camera, and told him to tell his joke. But he got shy, pulled his hat over his eyes. I said oh well, turned off the camera, and put the dollar back in my pocket.

Certainly by now everyone in the train station was watching this exchange between the man and my friends and I. So the man tried a different tact: “Miss? Did I say that you look very pretty?” Unfortunately I wasn’t giving out dollars for compliments, but it certainly got the room to burst into laughter. But of course, he wanted that dollar bad. And so he finally agreed to “tell a joke” on camera. I put that in quotes because he claimed that he said something funny, but I certainly didn’t hear it. But I told him I was feeling generous and that he could have the dollar. After all, I did get something semi-amusing to write about.


Later on before I got on my train, the man, who told me his name was John, wanted to thank me and shook my hand. He also wanted to know what my name was, and if I was single. In retrospect the idea of asking beggars to perform on camera was rather amusing. In practice however, I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. Either way though, I am probably going to hell.

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