Monday, 12 September 2011

An Open Letter to Hungry Hobo

This week's Cheesy Bloggers theme is Open Letters.  So if you have an open letter (which of course you do) or if you want to write one (which of course you should) then email it to us at and we'll feature it on our awesome blog. You should do it.  You're not cool if you don't.   

Also, don't forget to read this - my most recent open letter to a hobo Hubby and I encountered this weekend. 

Dear Hungry Hobo:

I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. I’m sorry you can’t get back on your feet. You seem like a nice guy.

When Hubby and I emerged from our fancy anniversary steak dinner last night and you approached us, we weren’t afraid or offended. You seemed polite and we sympathized with you.

When you asked us for our doggie bag, we weren’t sure. We had SO been looking forward to enjoying our steak, mushrooms, and rice a second time. It was a real perk for us. We were particularly pleased that we would get a second meal for the absurd $130 we paid.

But there we were, standing outside a steak restaurant, dressed up in fancy clothes, and on our way to get a delicious Beaver Tail for desert.

And there you were. You weren’t even asking for money. Just food.

So of course you could have it. Enjoy the steak and have a good night.

Hubby and I felt pretty good about it. We felt guilty that we are so privileged. We were happy to help in some small way.

Until we met another hobo on the street. He made a speech about how he was having a hard time and thanks for not pretending he was invisible. But we got a totally different vibe. A swindling vibe. A vibe that said “I may look rough, but the cell phone and pack of cigarettes in my hand tells a different story.”

We had to pass on this one. We can’t help everyone, and we just gave our dinner away. That was all we could do for today.

And then we were walking back to our car and you, our friend the Hungry Hobo, approached us again. With your hat out. Asking for spare change.

“Dude. We JUST gave you our dinner.”

“Oh. Yeah. Sorry.”

“Was it good?”

“Uh... yeah.”

I really am sorry. I do feel shitty about the fact that I have so much and you have so little. But, Man. This is why people resist helping. How did you even eat that meal in under 5 minutes? And you ate all that rice without a fork?

This is all very curious. Now we wonder if you were some kind of swindler too. Did you not really care about our dinner? Do you get a free steak dinner every night outside that restaurant?

I guess we’ll never know.

Best of luck, enjoy your steak,
Marianna Annadanna


  1. Hmm...slightly suspicious. But I'm still glad you gave it to him, just in case. He probably hid it with the rest of his stuff to eat later.

    It was really sweet of you and Hubby to help him. And I'm so glad you had a happy anniversary and a fancy anniversary steak dinner!

  2. I agree... it's hard sometimes to tell who are the genuine people on the street who have just lost their path and really need help vs the ones who are there because they choose to be there.

  3. Yeah, very hard to tell what the real deal is, but it's awesome that you gave him the meal. I know I always walk away from that kind of situation feeling good if I gave someone food, because I know they can eat, whereas I never know what will happen if I give money.

    You did your good deed for the day!

  4. That was super nice of you guys to do.

    I'm always left wondering if people I give spare change to or money on the street actually need it. About a month ago I was going into book store & this lady asks me to help her buy diapers for her baby, I felt bad & all I had was a $5 bill so I gave it to her. As I was coming out of the store I saw her coming out of the gas station at the end of the block with a 6 pack of beer...I was pissed. Because of that stupid lady I'm more hesitant to give my money away all willy nilly.

  5. jacqui - You're right, he could have stashed it. I hope so.

    chemgirl - They should where a sign. "I'm for real" vs "I'm a swindler"

    Flannery - Food is better than money, although sometimes I don't mind giving money either. It doesn't really matter what s/he does ith it. Even if he buys drugs, that's his life and it's still worse than mine.

    Lin - Ahrg! That's brutal. It's so hard to trust.

  6. When I went to art school in Boston, there was a homeless guy with his pathetic looking pooch I walked by on my way to school who used to ask me for a cigarette every day. I would give him one (he never asked for money, just a smoke), and be on my way. One day, near the end of my second year, I was going to school as usual, but this day I happened to be laden with my portfolio, my large paint kit, several sheets of aluminum, and some other supplies. When I began to struggle with all my equipment, the homeless guy jumped up and helped me carry it the two blocks to school. I never knew his name, but I will never forget him, either. A little kindness can sometimes go a long way.

  7. Cheryl - That story made me smile. I read it to Hubby and he loves it too. So nice. I was mostly being facetious, as usual. You;re so right Just a little kindness means so much.