So I’m at the laundromat right now
(yes, I’m poor. Focus on the story at hand) and a kid comes up to me and asks, “You got fifty cents?” He looks to be about 10 years old.
I looked at him with my clear pouch of quarts sitting on the table in front of me and said, “Yes. I have fifty cents.” The boy stared at me for a silent moment and I stared back.
"Do you need it?" he asked. "I wanted to play a game." I understood and even internally commended a young boy for being interested in the old Pac Man, Galaga and
Sugar Rush Driver2 arcade games. Maybe even the billiards table. But what does it teach the boy? To ask around like a hobo for every little thing he wants?
"Yes. I need it," I said plainly. He took a deep breath, looked away and said Okaaay…
And do you know what he did after that? He and his little sister went to play billiards anyway, popping in quarters from his jingling pockets. Then the boy handed some money to his sister and told her to get him a pop from the soda-machine.
This kid has the audacity to go around asking people —strangers— for money, strangers who come to the laundromat because they’re too poor to own their own washing machines. And he’s already got pockets full of quarters! Sure he probably doesn’t understand that he’s tricking the poor into handing over their money from the goodness of their hearts when he doesn’t NEED it and they do. But what are his parents teaching these kids?
And speaking of seeing terrible parenting skills, I was taking a stroll through the park yesterday and noticed two little girls, maybe 4 and 5 years old. But they weren’t on the playground with the huge group of other kids having fun. No. They were on the road sitting by their daddy’s car (I’m guessing it’s their dad), playing in some sand that was scooped up and brought over. And do you know why they were on the hazardous blacktop by the car? Because their dad was sitting on his leather seats with the AC on instead of taking his ass to a bench by the playground. Seriously, guy takes his kids all the way to the park just to make them watch as other children play together on clean equipment? There was glass and garbage on that road! And okay, the kids looked happy enough, but they’re 5, what do they know about a safe and healthy way to grow?