28 April 2009

Hard Times

I want to mention a strange sight I saw yesterday evening. I was on the bus to Albany when it passed by the stop at the corner of Congress and Third streets, in front of the ruins of a restaurant. On the sidewalk sat a relatively well-dressed man, who appeared to be at least middle-aged, maybe in his sixties. Spread before him on a blanket were wares that a sign declared were for sale. The odd part of it was what he was selling: a box of Corn Flakes; a jar of peanut butter; a bottle of Williams Lectric Shave; a couple of cake pans and a cake mixer. It didn't look like the loot of shoplifting. It was more likely whatever he could spare from his own supplies. How much could he have expected to raise from such sales? What did he need the money for? Was he that hard up for drink or drugs? Something about him made me think not, but I may be more trusting than I should be. Nevertheless, I simply couldn't imagine anyone buying anything from him. At the same time, I wondered whether I'd see more like him soon.

5 comments:

Crhymethinc said...

It could be items he received from a food pantry that he has no use for...

hobbyfan said...

I talked to the guy. He's been doing this since last weekend. Needs the money because he's not getting enough from Unity House on a per month basis. The economy has hit agencies like Unity House full force, like everyone else. He was selling cereal, peanut butter, notebooks, grated cheese, etc., at a discount. And this is second hand stuff. The cereal hasn't been used! He may be the only one around here trying this tack, but you may be right, Sammy. There might be more, depending on how well he does.

Samuel Wilson said...

Hobby: You're to be credited for talking to the man, but your account still begs the question: if he's selling food, what's he need the money for?

hobbyfan said...

Cigarettes, for one thing, and you know how expensive they've become in the last decade alone.

Samuel Wilson said...

Now I have somewhat less sympathy for the guy.