Little Queeny

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During the early years when I started to hang out with the homeless in southern Bucks County, PA, I knew an avid panhandler who bragged “I’m the king of the panhandlers!” He asked people for money at a laundry in Levittown and other various spots and even panhandled fellow homeless people at the shared meals for the homeless and those in need. He had signs to advertise his panhandling and on at least one occasion, called attention to it to a homeless woman, pressing the sign against the window and touted the sign to her. 

Now, several years later it looks like we may have a queen of the panhandlers. At the shared meals, she begged money from Pastors and other hosts and even quests at the meals. She’s even been working in tandem with at least one of her boys. In a tag team like effort, she would hit someone up for money, and if the answer was “no”, then he’d follow up.  You may say it’s a family affair. 

There was an isolated panhandling moment by a guy at one of the meals since the King left the scene, but it looks like he may be a one hit wonder. 

Although like most of the folks who frequent the shared meals, the upcoming Panhandling Queen is struggling, but is believed to have some source of income. And like many of the people who go to the meals, she wants others to fund her wants and just not her needs. One thing that has been burning a hole in her, as well as others’ pockets, is cancer sticks. Although smoking feigns see cigarettes as a vital need, it is really no a necessity; they got addicted to this idol, which they worship at the church of Sister Nicotine (plus addictive, more toxic additives) and The Holy Smokes. 

These folks decided to ride with the outlaw and evangelist for Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes. 

Back in January of this year, I was reminded of what addictions do to people when I went to  a fast food restaurant in Bristol. As I pulled into a parking space, a young guy, who seemed to come out of nowhere, slipped behind me, and went around my car and stood about ten feet from my driver’s door. As soon I exited the car, the guy asked if I had a cigarette. I told him no – that I don’t smoke. “Can you give me ten bucks for a pack of cigarettes?”, he unabashedly asked. “No,” I unequivocally said. “When I become an old as* see if I give you anything, the punk snarled, as he walked away. “You need to change your attitude,” I replied. His ignorance grew. “**** you,” this intellectual spouted. 

The Johnny Smoke anti-smoking PSA played on TV during the 60s has been upstaged by the Opioid Crisis. The old folk song asks “Where have all the flowers gone?” I ask, where have all the anti-smoking public service announcements gone? Except for ads selling stop smoking products, there is not much of a campaign to alert people about the dangers of smoking. 

Although the poison from legal cigarettes acts more slowly than that of illegal drugs, it is still a destructive force in society. In the early 70s, my physical education/health instructor in college told us he’d like to go down south and burn down all the tobacco fields. “Don’t tell your parents I’m really going to do this,”, he said and explained he was just trying to make a point about how dangerous smoking is to your health. Early December, 2017, I lost someone very dear to me as a result of smoking.   

Like illegal drugs, which have additives such as fentanyl and morphine, cigarettes also have toxic additives. The government evidently does not have a problem with cigarette additives, which make cancer sticks more addictive. Jesus said that the love of money is the root of evil. Allegedly to curb smoking, the government jacked up taxes on cigarettes. The tobacco industry, and its partner in crime the government, are no better than drug pushers, whom they say they want to push out. More tax money in the government coffers! 

It looks like the King of the Panhandlers has abdicated his throne. He very well may be replaced by a Queen. We may even give the Queen a theme song: 

I explore these kinds of issues among the homeless, as well as their victories in: