Don’t we all wish people would just put some money in our hands, just for asking? Panhandlers are not unique to your city or mine, they are all over the world. Every city, in every country has it’s share of panhandlers. I’m what you might call cheap, I am not inclined to just give money away, no matter how small an amount it is, but I do. Although there are different types of Panhandlers and on a recent trip to Spain I experienced three types. There are those who will walk up to you at a cafe and hold out their hands, or cups expecting you to drop some change in. There are also those who are more passive, just sitting on the ground, quiet, peaceful and patient, hoping you will spare a dime. Then there are those who are much more creative in their request for money.
It might be fair to say that the last group, really are not panhandlers as much as entertainers. I have donated to the Entertaining Panhandler because they have taken the time to find a way to make me smile or laugh in their drive to get my money. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not mean or indifferent to those who are truly in need. And many times I have felt compelled to drop some coin in those cups or hands. And I will continue to do so when it appears to me that someone really needs a hand.
|This guy played about 16 hours a day|
I question if all panhandlers really are needy though. The group of panhandlers that I call entertainers, I suspect are not that needy. Especially when I see them taking breaks, smoking cigarettes or cigars and enjoying a bottle of wine with their nice lunch. So I refuse to believe they are needy panhandlers, to me they are simply entertainers. I have encountered some very good and funny entertainers while in Madrid.
Like I said there are Panhandlers everywhere you go, but in Madrid many of them have elevated it to an art form. While in Barcelona, there were very few Entertaining Panhandlers, but plenty of those who appeared to be truly needy. After watching all of this; I began to think why don’t more people offer help to those who appear to truly need it, from here on out I intend to. Instead people were lining up to share some coin with the Entertaining Panhandlers.
|So Jesus, a Gargoyle and a I don’t know walk into a bar|
Some of my favorites made their home in Plaza Mayor in Madrid. At home in this Plaza was Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, A Crying Baby (my favorite, watch the video and you will agree), Statues of Jesus, Gargoyles and Spiderman.
|Minnie was quite pushy|
Now Spiderman is a unique Panhandler, he didn’t do a darn thing and people just handed him money. I think his claim to fame is that he is fat,out of shape, dirty, has his mask lifted most of the time to smoke a cigar, he is the Anti-Super Hero, and people loved it.
|My favorite, Crying Baby|
As fun as it is to watch those entertaining panhandlers, and I encourage you to share your coin with them as they have put a great deal of effort into their show. I also encourage you to share the same amount of coin with those who are truly in need. They are all around you, take a moment and look past those entertainers, at the young mother and child who have no shoes, or the old man who hasn’t bathed in a month, give a helping hand to them too.