Most of us read the heart touching story about the homeless man in Manhattan, sitting on the sidewalk, without shoes. A New York City cop approached him, talk to him, saw a need, then walked into a nearby shoe store and bought the homeless man a pair of hundred dollar boots.
We all read the story misty-eyed, championed the heart of a tough NYC cop, and rendered sympathy for a fellow living in the streets.
Then, as with so many things these days, a hard reality crowded out the humanistic; we learned that the so called homeless man is not homeless or shoeless. Seems the guy has been gaming American "good hearts" for years. He has a house in the Bronx, owns thirty pairs of shoes and, according to his pastor/mentor has gamed the system for as much as $1,000 dollars a day.
As if it could not get more slimy we learned that Mr. Homeless man wanted a cut of the ad profits when the pic went viral on U-Tube. It wasn't enough that he's gamed thousands of good people over his ten years of panhandling, it was not enough that he took an expensive pair of shoes from a cop that most probably has far fewer shoes, it wasn't enough that a pic that might have brought attention to the plight of the homeless; no he wanted "a piece of the action".
Why are we always surprised by these stories. We have bred a class of people who feed off our taxpayer supported poverty programs, then feed off the tender hearts of those they can game "face to face". And they do so without guilt and with a real sense of entitlement.
I donate regularly to two charities; childhood cancer and the Humane Society. Mostly because children and dogs do not have the capacity to deceive. And somehow, when a movie star walks out on a telethon stage and asks me to "give till it hurts" it just doesn't touch my heart when I know that the movie star's got a home on Lake Como in Italy and a palatial estate in Beverly Hills.
And the merciless parasite with 30 pairs of shoes, and a plastic bag full of cash is no better.
Sad. Damned Sad.