By Mark A. Leon
Last evening I was approached by a friendly homeless man on a bike with sweet grass flowers on the corner of Market and Church.? He politely introduced himself and asked my name and made an immediate assumption I was from New York and then when I corrected him, saying I live here, he defaulted to Summerville.? Close, James Island.
After the formalities were out of the way, he indicated that he was not asking for money, but just wanted to be able to put some food in his stomach.? I was pondering for a moment where this conversation was going if he wasn’t asking for money, but wanted food.? I obviously knew where the conversation would lead, but didn’t want to disrupt his elevator speech too quickly.
After a few more sentences, I kindly disrupted, letting him know I only had a phone, car keys and a credit card and absolutely no cash on my person.
He then asked, if I had money, would I have given him some.? I naturally said yes.
Then he said, “Can I ask you a serious question?”
My immediate reaction was that he wanted to ask my opinion on his sales pitch.? A little startled, I said yes as I looked to my right, eagerly awaiting the arrival of my dinner date.? He pointed to the end of Market Street saying, “If you go to the corner right over there and make a right, there is an ATM”.
There it was, a homeless man had just asked me to go to an ATM to get him money.? He wanted me to walk two blocks, get money from an ATM and come back and give it to him.
Now that was bold and opportunistic.
The only flaw was that I haven’t had an ATM card for over 15 years.
The times they are a changing in Charleston.? Opportunity and greed come at all levels.
Happy Holidays Charleston and don’t forget your ATM card.