Monday, February 27, 2012

Begging on Easy Street

There’s this guy in a ragged wheelchair who sits on a street corner about a block away, shaking a Starbucks cup full of coins. His left leg and right arm are missing, which makes him a curious sight indeed. I’ve know many double amputees, but they’ve always been more symmetrical.

He’s out there every day rain or shine, in the brutal heat and blustery wind. Whenever I see him, it hardens my determination to find a way to liberate him and all the other crippled beggars from the indignity of begging on the harsh city streets. This is the 21st Century, for God’s sake. There are much more sophisticated, efficient, high-tech ways for cripples to beg. Cripples should be begging on the internet, from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Internet begging is pretty much what we do here at Smart Ass Cripple. We sit here on our virtual street corner, telling jokes to passersby. Sometimes they toss coins into that virtual Starbucks cup known as PayPal.

But I want to set up a website, an online community, a one-stop shop for people to give to crippled beggars. It’ll work sort of like a dating site. Crippled beggars in search of benefactors will post a picture and profile: “Hello. My name is Marvin. I’m a Sagittarius and I have leprosy.” (Disclaimer: Benefactor beware. Crippling conditions have not been authenticated.)

Benefactors can choose a beggar from this dazzling gallery. Or they can search for their ideal beggar by entering the essential characteristics of the type of beggar with whom they would be most compatible: age range, crippling condition, religion, level of education, acceptable number of missing teeth. And the computer will pick the perfect match. There can also be a NAME YOUR PRICE feature where the benefactor offers up a bid, say like 50 cents, and it goes to whichever crippled beggar snatches it first. Or they can adopt-a-beggar, where they set up an automatic transfer of funds to go to the Starbucks cup of same beggar every month.

One hundred per cent of all funds donated go directly to the crippled beggars, minus my modest processing fee.

Internet begging will dramatically improve the quality of life for crippled beggars. They’ll just roll out of bed and check their PayPal. They won’t have to deal with the dangers of street begging, like extreme weather and mafia shakedowns. And best of all, the police won’t chase them off the street when the Olympics come to town.

I’ll call it I could make it but screw that. I think I can make a lot of money off of this thing.