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...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, July 04, 2008

Obama On The Highway

Have I mentioned before how unusual it is to see Obama '08 bumperstickers down here in South Florida?

Well, correction -- how unusual it is to see Obama '08 on really really nice cars in South Florida?

In fact, until this very Thursday, July 3rd, I had not seen one pricey car with an Obama sticker at all.

I know you're thinking: well, duh, Vic. I mean, he's a Democrat. Working class folks don't drive fancy, pricey cars.

Oh no, mes amis.

Believe me, this is the kind of detail that doesn't escape my notice.

The amount of pro-Hillary bumperstickers these past 2 years, and Kerry/Edwards stickers in 2004 ran a gamut from rustbuckets to German jobbies like Mercedeses and BMWs. In fact, in 2004 it was odd NOT to see a Kerry sticker on an expensive car.

The hoopdees and modest cars had the Bush stickers.

From what I've observed, Obama bumperstickers in South Florida are the province of the Mini-Cooper, the cutesy VW Beatles, and every junkie car in between.

In the interests of full disclosure, one very rarely sees McCain bumperstickers down here, of any sort, so it's not like I'm claiming otherwise.

But so there I was, NPR full blast (see above) when to my utter excitement what do I see in front of me on the 878 freeway?


Though we're headed towards the light bordering South Dixie Highway, I hit the accelerator, because I want to see these unusual luxury car owners, dammit.

And wouldn't you know it...inside was a black couple -- the man driving.

I was grinning like a fool at them, as I sped by them, overtaking them to get to the light first. I am a speed demon generally, so don't think I was hoping they'd catch sight of my McCain sticker on my bumper...because I have none. I am not even pro-McCain. He's just the guy I got stuck with in 2008.

They're right behind me, as three rows of cars wait for a very long time for the green light at this intersection.

I see him. Old, bedraggled -- a homeless veteran, well, so says his handmade sign, anyway.

I roll down my window, and dip into my handbag. Geez, I only have a loose dollar. He thanks me anyway, and says "God..." when I stop him.

I say, "hang on, I think I have some change here".

I pull out my unused cigarette caddy near the lighter which I use for toll change, since I'm not a smoker. I empty out all my quarters, pennies and dimes unto his outstretched hand. He looks at me, and now says, "Thank you, ma'am. God bless." I say, "Sorry I don't have more. Have a safe Fourth!". I smile, he smiles really touchingly at me, his stained hands clutching that pitiful sign again.

But we're still waiting at the light. It's a long light, folks. Someone should write Charlie Crist about it.

So the homeless vet with his scratchy sign starts to walk back towards the Obama Beemer, and its occupants.

I'm looking at the scene in my rear view mirror.

But first, the SUV next to the Obama supporters hails the guy, and the passenger window rolls down. He gets a dollar from her too.

The vet now turns around towards the BMW, shiny, new, lovely, glowing Obama sticker on it...and keeps on walking.

They didn't roll down their window.

I thought about it a long time after I was speeding home. I excused the Obamans in my mind. Maybe they didn't feel safe. Maybe they just didn't have a dollar to spare. Hey, maybe they just didn't want to give a handout to a bum.

It happens.

But I'll tell you, when I give a dollar or two to homeless people, whatever sense of smugness about myself being the second coming of Mother Teresa, is secondary to the real knowledge a person was helped.

I take care of those who can't take care of themselves, temporarily. Not 100% of the time, but let's say 95% of the time.

I guess the vet and I just caught those Obama supporters during their 5%.



  • Are you sure it was a good idea to give money to the homeless person? I mean, he might have been lying about the "veteran" part. The big problem is that not every homeless person is homeless, some are just scammers who earn thousands of dollars doing it.

    (Giving money to a homeless shelter would be a fairly safe way of giving from what I understand.)

    My experiences have mostly been with panhandlers, however, and they are universally liars.

    By Anonymous alcibiades, at Fri Jul 04, 03:44:00 pm GMT-4  

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