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Civic Beggars

By phototext 17 September 2008 48

Anyone else getting jack of some of the Civic Beggars ?

ipods, mobile phones and good clothes…. real hard up.

Some of them are just scrounging scammers.

I’m sick of getting abused and intimidated by the same few a-holes for not giving them money but tonight two of them where well out of order.

One of the regulars, had good clothes on, a mobile phone and three shopping bags from Myers etc. She must have forgotten to put on her “Beggars outfit”.  Her and one of the guys where begging off people, they targeted a teenage girl and when she wouldn’t or possibly couldn’t, give them any money, started yelling abuse at her, effin this and effin that. Very nasty stuff. The poor girl was very scared and upset.

There are some genuinely hard up people in Canberra, but there is a crew who work Civic who are leaches.

I’m sure I’m not the only one sick of them.


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Civic Beggars
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Overheard 11:37 am 19 Sep 08

Granny said :

Overheard said :

‘Last night I did six keys in the one verse!’

That is quite an achievement!!

*chuckle*

I can only hope you will post the recording!

Um, no. I shot the sound man and group-hypnotised the remaining audience to wipe all memory of it. Semi-redeemed myself a cappella style at Kangaroo Valley last weekend AND watch this space for a big night of singing at the Merry Muse on Friday 17 October featuring two choirs I sing with, plus headliners the fabulous Shiny Bum Singers.

Back OT, a colleague told me that he’d read that James (I’m pretty sure that’s his name) the guy with long hair, long coat and guitar who begs outside DJs in the city had shuffled off the mortal coil. Was glad to find out that’s not the case and he’s still with us.

He’s an example of someone who will probably never be able to make a quid that doesn’t come from welfare or spare change, so I never mind dropping some money into his cap. His guitar work actually used to be quite worth listening to, though the same colleague told me he seems to be struggling of late.

“Oh the beggar by the side of the road
Says, ‘Brother, give me shelter’.
Sit down, wish him well
And share your meal
After all, aren’t we all God’s beggars?”

(cf. above. Oh, and I’m agnostic, just for the record!)

Granny 4:12 pm 18 Sep 08

Overheard said :

‘Last night I did six keys in the one verse!’

That is quite an achievement!!

*chuckle*

I can only hope you will post the recording!

Overheard 2:24 pm 18 Sep 08

Er, that was by way of illumination of a point, btw; I’m not prone to bursting into song on the streets. Well, sometimes if it’s late and I’m over 0.10…

Overheard 2:22 pm 18 Sep 08

^^ Once as I was walkking past her, I overheard her tell someone that she was tryng to get some money together, ‘enough to get out of this sh!thole’ or something like that and it was all I could do to not stop and wish her the best of British and could I coordinate the appeal.

(I guess this is where one of her bestest friends for ever jumps and and starts with the block capital defence. BCD — it’s a syndrome.)

I don’t give to every beggar, but there are some people who just seem beyond hope and I don’t mind throwing some coin their way. *Bursting into song*

“Oh, the beggar by the side of the road
Says, ‘Brother, any spare change?’
You glare straight ahead,
‘Don’t encourage them’, you said
And walk up that progress hill.

Shall we walk up the progress hill, dear friend
Where the rules are all that matters?
Is your heart as cold as winter snow?
We will walk, we will walk together.”

‘All God’s Beggars’ by Kavisha Mazella from ‘Silver Hook Tango’
(Superb album, brilliant song — might have muffed a word or two)

jakez 1:52 pm 18 Sep 08

I’m not so much bothered by them begging as I am by the ones that let fly with a torrent of abuse when you decline to part with funds. You sort of brace for it though after a while.

Which leads me to a story about last time I was in Sydney (about a month ago). I was walking the streets of Central Sydney alone at about 11pm (as I like to do) when a bloke asked me for a dollar for the train (something about losing his wallet). I hate the ‘I don’t have any change’ lie, it’s just such transparent bullshit, so I simply said to him:

“I’m not going to give you any money.”

With such a blunt response I fully expected a torrent of abuse to come my way. To my surprise he simply said “fair enough mate, have a good evening”.

I was flabbergasted. Here I was a country boy from Canberra, fully expecting to be stabbed, and I receive the nicest response I’ve ever had from a beggar. I walked 10 steps and decided I could not leave such behaviour unrewarded. I called him back and gave him 60c for taking my rejection so well. I figured that’s one small step in incentivising a polite society.

I was discussing this incident with a Sydney mate of mine who notoriously refuses to give any money to anyone, when some feckless piece of life asks as for change. I burst out laughing and say “we were just talking about people like you, what a coincidence”. My friend proceeds to give the worst ‘I don’t have any change’ lie I have ever seen. We were of course hurled with abuse.

It was a nice exclamation of the point I was trying to make to my mate, but in retrospect it was again probably very lucky that I didn’t get stabbed.

phototext said :

I always give money to the Salvation Army gentleman, the old guy, he’s a Canberra institution. He’s been around since I was a kid, which was a long time ago.

I used to give him money but not anymore. Not because I don’t like the guy or the Salvation Army, but just because I give one annual donation and get the tax receipt. What can I say? I like to give, except to the Government.

Overheard said :

The converse of that is that woman who used to stand at the corner of Centrepoint across from the merry-go-round and if I was having lunch with colleagues anywhere in a 500m radius I seriously considered offering her $5 to NOT sing for abour half an hour.

That woman was horrendous. Then one day she disappeared and somebody put signs up ‘No busking’. I wonder whatever happened to her.

Overheard 1:23 pm 18 Sep 08

phototext said :

I always give money to the Salvation Army gentleman, the old guy, he’s a Canberra institution. He’s been around since I was a kid, which was a long time ago.

After reading ‘Down And Out in Paris and London’, I got very anti-Salvos for a long time and I still don’t get their whole military naming structure thing. But I’ve softened over the years and just about all of my usable stuff goes to their stores. And yes, I try to give that bloke in the Canberra Centre some coin every time I can. I gave him a copy of my magazine once (I had a bundle of them to do some promo stuff). Lord knows (no pun intended) what we made of Australian/World folk, blues and roots music. Possibly a nice bin-liner!

Thumper 12:31 pm 18 Sep 08

One time, a very elderly and frail lady had a mouse in her kitchen, as an employee I had to place a bait box and present her with a bill for 170 bucks, I felt so bad I vowed there and then to quit

After a disclosure like that I reckon JB should do the charitable thing and let you mention the company.

Pesty 12:22 pm 18 Sep 08

tylersmayhem said :

If only there were more like you out there Pesty. What kind of tradie work do you do?

I’m a pesty LOL! (Pest management technician)I can’t say which company I run or i will get moderated. I work on the principal if I can’t make an honest living, I would rather not bother. In fact, one of the major deciding factors for me going it alone was seeing how much some companies charged for virtually nothing! One time, a very elderly and frail lady had a mouse in her kitchen, as an employee I had to place a bait box and present her with a bill for 170 bucks, I felt so bad I vowed there and then to quit. I can’t tell you which company obviouisly, but it was one of a number now bought out by Rentokil.

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