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But Genocide Has Such a Nice Ring To It!

By Wil Forbis
April 1, 2002

Maybe I’m getting old or perhaps the years of unrefined malt liquor are finally getting to me, but can any one of you loyal readers remind why I’m supposed to feel sorry for homeless panhandling scum? I used to have a reason in the back of my mind -  something that prevented me from throttling every third person I encountered on the street who muttered yet another refrain of, “Hey man, got a quarter?” There was some sort of social training imbedded in my psyche that prevented me from become this decade's Bernard Goetz and taking to the streets with enough automatic weapons to make Charles Whitman look like Gandhi. But it suddenly occurred to me recently, as the 1056th obviously capable and youthful street waif  asked me for money,  that whatever mental block had prevented me from seeing these people as cannon fodder  had long since disappeared. And I asked myself, would it be so wrong, if when the next  drooling crusty punk gleefully pounced on me, I calmly pulled out a 1940’s German Luger and shot him in the head right there on the sidewalk?

Fortunately, rational quickly settled in on me. How could I think such things, of course it would be wrong! It would be wrong, because if you shot someone right there on the pavement, their brains and blood will spill out on the concrete and decent people might come along and slip on them. There would simply be no defense for that sort of behavior.  However, if I could somehow insure that their cranial innards did not spatter on the sidewalk but rather the gutter, well, then, those actions would be totally morally defensible. Perhaps I could pretend to drop some change into the street, and when the urban youth scurried over past the curb to retrieve them I could calmly pop him in the back of the head (or her, let’s be fair to everyone) and go about my business.

Now granted, murder might seem extreme to some of you who aren’t approached by panhandling filth as often as I am. And the truth is, I don’t despise all such scum, just the ones that are obviously as capable as making a buck as I am. For years, I washed cars, drove forklifts, and drug around 50 gallon tins of strange warehouse chemicals… If that sort of blue collar labor was good enough for me, why isn’t it for them? Why does some 21 year old punk with an beaten up “Exploited” jacket think he should be exempt from the back breaking labor the rest of us have to endure. And it’s not just that these scum are asking for change, it’s the rude and shitty way they do it. If someone says, “Excuse me but do you happen to have  a quarter?” I’m willing to treat that with some consideration. But what kind of request is “Spare change, dude?”, usually accompanied with some sort of belligerent sneer. Yes, I do have spare change, I believe what you’re asking me is whether I’ll give it to you. Of course If I do give it away, I’ll no longer have it. It’s kind of a catch-22, isn’t it you insipid flea-bag?

Now, as I said above, I don’t hate all panhandlers. Let me include a few examples of street filth I do believe to be worthwhile people:

1. Homeless people over 40 - at that point you’ve gathered enough personality to become a “character” and ideally have even garnered a wacky old man name like “Crazy Bob,” “One Eyed Jimmy,” or “Leslie.” It has always been the cornerstone of my philosophy to respect eccentrics.

2. Panhandlers who employ lines like “Spare change for beer/heroin/a new kidney?” or “Pardon me sir, would thou happen to have a sixpence for some finer mead?” prove they actually put some thought into their vocation and deserve recognition for that effort. “Yo man, got a quarter” or “Spare change, dude,” are not amusing lines and should only be rewarded only with a swift beating.

3. Viet Nam vets - It is not permissible to degrade our proud veterans who have been relegated to the street thought it is all right to yell “Charlie at six o’clock” and watch them have a flashback.

4. Anyone playing a musical instrument, though it must be understood that gratuities increase proportionally in reference to the zaniness of the instrument. (e.g. a folk guitarist will only receive a dollar for a three minute song where an accordionist will receive four dollars and a zitherist six dollars. Extra consideration will be due for the use of everyday objects as musical instruments, such as paper cups,  parking meters and small children.)

5. Anyone with a Motley Crue T-shirt.

Really, the only type of spare changers that piss me off are young kids  clearly capable of pertaining employment. And even within group the only ones really deserving death wear an attitude that seems to imply I owe them a living. I think what these punks fail to realize is that I'm in on their little game because... well, I used to be one of them. I don't want to give the wrong impression here - I'm not  saying I used to be some sort of panhandling street sloth, but I did hang out with that crowd. And frankly, none of them really had any good excuse for that activity. They panhandled because they were lazy, and more than once implied that I was some sort of sucker for buying into "the system" and having a job. I've got no beef with people who want to avoid capitalism, but go do it in some hippie commune, not in front of the local Starbucks.

The truth is -  we should be treasuring any and all instances of the common panhandling punk. After all, they're are a dying breed, like the flightless vampire Iguana and funny late night host. The day of the cashless society is upon us and soon no working man will be carrying around the king's silver, rather magnetized cards capable of dispensing space-credits or whatever monetary form is imposed upon us. What will these vermin do then? Will they start accepting MasterCard and Visa? (Doubtful since such technology is well past their stegasaurus-like understanding of the world.) Will they begin to recede into the alleys and trash bins of the concrete jungle, slowly becoming aware that modern society no longer has the tools to support their indolence. Or will they do that thing that is most heinous in their contorted worldview – GET A JOB!?!

What do you think? Leave your comments on the Guestbook! Wil Forbis is a well known international playboy who lives a fast paced life attending chic parties, performing feats of derring-do and making love to the world's most beautiful women. Together with his partner, Scrotum-Boy, he is making the world safe for democracy. Email -

Visit Wil's web log, The Wil Forbis Blog, and receive complete enlightenment.