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Monday, December 10, 2007

I Appreciate Those Cups

posted by on December 10 at 9:18 AM


Homeless Santa was performing outside Pacific Place on Sunday. He could really play that sax, and his sign was funny, so we made a donation. I have to say, though, that i appreciate the cups that other homeless folks shake. I’m about 10,000,000 times more likely to give some random homeless person change if—and I know this sounds awful—I don’t have to touch ‘em. It’s not that I think homeless people are dirty or diseased—no, wait. That’s exactly what I think.

They’re not dirty by choice, of course, but by circumstance. I mean, they’re homeless, they don’t have any place to wash up, grubbiness can’t be avoided. So I want to give ‘em change, but I don’t want their very-likely-to-be-dirty hands to touch my very-likely-to-touch-my-next meal hands. Anyway, blah blah blah.

RSS icon Comments


You're just scared of him because he's fat. Admit it!

Posted by tsm | December 10, 2007 9:20 AM

blah blah blah indeed!

Posted by Amelia | December 10, 2007 9:25 AM

Why even give them change?

Posted by mattymatt | December 10, 2007 9:30 AM

What #1 said. Bear hater.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 10, 2007 9:30 AM

poor, fat, dirty santa! i wouldn't touch you even if you were a missing snowboarder.

Posted by jimmy | December 10, 2007 9:32 AM

Im about 10,000,000 times more likely to give some random homeless person change ifand I know this sounds awfulI dont have to touch em.

That doesn't just *sound* awful...

Posted by bma | December 10, 2007 9:33 AM

I agree with Dan. I don't care much for touching strangers, especially homeless strangers.

Posted by PdxRitchie | December 10, 2007 9:35 AM

dan -- your priorities seem to be FUCKED!

god forbid you actually treat someone humanely.

there were folks similar to you in the 1980s who were afraid to touch hiv- positive folks. i'm glad they got over their fears.

you fucking suck as a human and next time i see you out in public, i'm gonna make sure to get filthy germs all over you!

Posted by joey | December 10, 2007 9:38 AM

I'd give this guy money. Cup-shakers, I dunno what they want it for. Then there's those "WHY LIE I NEED A BEER" guys. Then there's this guy, who's at least working. If you put some active effort into it I'll respect you. As Santa says, even if it's for a beer, at least you're not sitting on your arse.

Posted by The CHZA | December 10, 2007 9:42 AM

Mike Huckabee thinks that it's okay to treat AIDS patients as less than human, and that's disgusting. But it's fine to treat homeless people that way.

If you're so disgusted at their hygiene, give them $5, a toothbrush and a bar of soap.

Posted by left coast | December 10, 2007 9:43 AM

@10 - OK, I'll bite: where did Dan exactly say he regards homeless people as less than human? There are plenty of people whose humanity I can readily acknowledge, but who I an still not necessarily aching to touch.

Posted by tsm | December 10, 2007 9:45 AM

Hmmm, Santa playing sax? What happened to the girl who played violin in front of Pacific Place? I always threw in a few bucks after having lunch. I always will give to musicians on the street.

Posted by Just Me | December 10, 2007 9:47 AM

I feel the same way. There is a guy in my neighborhood I sometimes give money to and the last time I gave him a buck, he grabbed my hand and seemed to wipe his finger on the top of it. I was very grossed out because I was on my way to meeting friends for dinner and had to get all the way to the restaurant before I could wash my hands. Maybe that makes me an asshole, but I have no idea when that guy washed his hands last.

Posted by Clint | December 10, 2007 9:49 AM

I won't even touch my wife unless she's showered. Being touched no matter your hygiene is not a human right.

Posted by Medina | December 10, 2007 9:51 AM

Well at least this time he's baiting a group with limited computer access so we won't have the interminable blog war.

Posted by chi type | December 10, 2007 9:51 AM

Blog wars kick ass, chi type. You know it. I know it. And fuckin' Marsellus Wallace knew it.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 10, 2007 9:55 AM

I saw that guy yesterday too - he was great! Unfortunately I didn't have cash on me at the time. I'm glad he's on Slog because I wanted to take a picture of his sign.

I won't add to the melee about not touching the homeless - I'm not crazy about touching any stranger - but I do hope Dan generally washes his hands before eating his meals.

Posted by genevieve | December 10, 2007 9:55 AM

@13 -- unless you watch someone wash their hands, you have no idea when ANYONE last washed their hands!

If you live/work in the business world -- you shake folks' hands and they haven't washed them!

Posted by Joey | December 10, 2007 9:56 AM

Want cleaner homeless?:

Posted by Ari Spool | December 10, 2007 9:57 AM

You are right Joey, but when I shake hands in the business world, usually the hands at least APPEAR clean.

Posted by Clint | December 10, 2007 10:01 AM

You can bite my ass tsm. It's not a subtle point, the whole topic is dehumanizing. The homeless, or 'bums' as Seattlites seem to prefer, are still people. In his defense, Dan notes that it's not their fault, but the whole discussion is offensive. I feel sorry for people who live on the street. The Slog's problem with touching them, pales in comparison with their problem of trying to survive in the cold and rain and get enough to eat.

Posted by left coast | December 10, 2007 10:02 AM

kinda prissy sometimes, dan? and you don't know that someone didn't, at some point in its circulation, wipe his nose or ass with that dollar you contemplated giving to him. and it doesn't make you sick, and neither will he. just wash up before eating and all will be fine, i promise.

Posted by ellarosa | December 10, 2007 10:09 AM

That's cool Ari. There you go passive agressive Seattle. Instead turning up your noses like Dan, you can actually do something for a change.

Posted by left coast | December 10, 2007 10:14 AM

Folks, let's just all take a giant step back here. I don't think Dan's dehumanizing homeless people. He just doesn't like touching dirty people. Period. It's his own psychology in play there, not some backwards attempt to dehumanize homeless people. And you know what? I don't like touching dirty people, or strangers, in general. It's my own personal psychology, too!

So what do we do about it? Should Dan and I break ourselves of our psychological issues with dirty people by going around and touching every dirty person we see? I think it's a much better use of our time and efforts to try to help the homeless. Dan gave saxaphone santa some change... since I'm 10,000,000 times more likely to give a homeless person money if I'm 90% sure it won't go directly to the booze and drugs that lead some of them to break into my boyfriend's car or scream "FILTHY FAGGOT" at me on the 358, I give the money instead to homeless shelters and projects like FareStart, which do a bit more than just give homeless people a prayer and a bar of soap.

Posted by James | December 10, 2007 10:15 AM

Thanks for the plug. You wouldn't happen to be one the newcomers who helped cleaning up after the vomiting incident on saturday night? We're a little lax on introductions.

Posted by urbanreststop | December 10, 2007 10:15 AM

Comment bating to the max, Savage

Posted by naw | December 10, 2007 10:17 AM

@25, I put my name in to volunteer at Urban Reststop but no one got back to me (This was a couple of trys back in August) What gives??

Posted by Just Me | December 10, 2007 10:19 AM

We are far from claiming to be perfect. Keep trying. The best way (at least the way I started) is to come down and hang out.

Posted by urbanreststop | December 10, 2007 10:23 AM

#25: I haven't volunteered. Right now, I have to stick to plugging you guys around the block. Soon I'll get some money to give you, and maybe after that, some time.

Keep up the great work!

Posted by Ari Spool | December 10, 2007 10:26 AM

@ 16: You're right of course, Mr. Poe. Maybe I was just doing some wishful thinking since my place of employment is where the smelly homeless are most likely to come to participate in the flame war.

Posted by chi type | December 10, 2007 10:27 AM

Freakazoids! Any time you touch that $$$, you are touching far more "dirt" than anything that could possibly come off of a homeless person.

Posted by Hal | December 10, 2007 10:33 AM

You shouldn't be giving money to homeless people anyways. You should be donating that money to charities that are dedicating to helping the homeless, or giving it to politicians who actually do something to alleviate homelessness. I ain't paying for anyone's booze but my own.

Posted by Gitai | December 10, 2007 10:41 AM

Observing that obvious homeless people who shake cups at you are dirty and smelly and gross in no way "dehumanizes" them. It's just stating the truth. It's a fact. They usually ARE dirty, smelly, and gross. Dan specifically noted it wasn't their fault. He indicated that he even tossed money in those cups. How is that dehumanizing? Prissy maybe, and perhaps a bit of a neat freak. But dehumanizing? No.

I myself never give money to individual street people. Ever. I just hate the entire begging behavior, and by giving to them, you just encourage it. Instead, I give money to FareStart, Youthcare, Urban Rest Stop, or other organizations that actually provide useful practical assistance to homeless people. That way I know the money I'm giving is actually doing something useful.

Posted by SDA in SEA | December 10, 2007 10:53 AM

Any time you give charity, it's slightly dehumanizing for the receiver, because the power dynamic implicit in the act is that the giver bestows his/her superior wealth on the receiver. But the fact is that the homeless need help. Still, I don't know if that means I need to be the recipient of his superior filth.

Posted by librarian@play | December 10, 2007 10:58 AM

One of the secrets of good sex and lots of it - you cruise the street guys and the so called homeless.

Of course you take them to a bath house and do hot showers together before you rim them.

Good advice, hey, Dan ...

Mr Poe knows.

Posted by Kip | December 10, 2007 11:23 AM

This certainly explains Dan's aversion to riding the bus.

Me, I'm looking forward to riding that filthy SLUT starting Wednesday!

Posted by Joe M | December 10, 2007 11:28 AM

I'm not sure the homeless *want* you touching them, Dan.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | December 10, 2007 11:30 AM


Gotz to be givin you props when you deserve it.

At least you are honest about having a certain amount of revulsion at the homeless.

That is what Gods plan for them is. Keeps the rest of us going to our "jobs".

But maybe you could give them a little advice about how to have sex in shit filled dumpsters and despite open festering pressure sores on their cocks. You know, the same stuff that would benefit your other readers.

Posted by ecce homo | December 10, 2007 11:47 AM

ecce homo: A whole lot of people are repulsed by gays. Is that god's plan to keep people from becoming like you?

Posted by jamier | December 10, 2007 12:24 PM

Christ, Dan - you're beginning to sound like Howard Hughes and his germophobia. Or like the woman quoted in last week's P-I about never having ridden a bus nor intended to, but looked forward to patronizing the SLUT because it "looked fun". Lady - it's a bus running in steel ruts. And they'll stay clean, drug-and- homeless-free because Paul Allen says so. Can you say "Cashcadia"?

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | December 10, 2007 12:38 PM

Then perhaps you should have Strangercrombie benefit Urban Rest Stop!

Posted by Bitter. | December 10, 2007 12:48 PM

You should really give to an organization rather than the homeless people on the streets. Somebody like Volunteers of America Western Washington really does a good job at helping the less fortunate people in the community.

Posted by BassSinger | December 10, 2007 1:41 PM

Purelle and cocoabutter oyu fucking verminophobe!

Posted by You'd Touch A Bum If He Didn't Want To Be Touched | December 10, 2007 2:10 PM

I'll admit it. I sometimes worry about lice on the bus. I don't want some people rubbing against me for that reason. And tuberculosis...I worry about TB.

Wouldn't have to worry, of course, if these unfortunate souls had health care.

Posted by Bauhaus | December 10, 2007 2:45 PM

I gotta say I feel the same way as Dan. And I work with homeless people. There's nothing wrong with wanting to protect your health by avoiding folks who don't have the means to maintain hygiene. It's classist to lump all homeless together and call them "dirty" (many are quite clean), but for the same reason I don't share my food with my 4-year-old niece after she's been picking her nose and eating the fruits of her labor (ahem), I don't go rubbing hands with folks who don't have regular access to hot water and soap.

Posted by caracola | December 10, 2007 3:45 PM

Laundromats should have showers in the lower 48, just as they do in Alaska. Write your congressperson.

Posted by Kiru Banzai | December 10, 2007 5:28 PM

A couple questions now that I'm bored enough to care:

- Where did he get the sax?
- Where did he get the candy canes?
- Where did he get the clean Santa suit?
- Why would you have to touch him? He has a folgers can for change right there.
- Why should we care?

Please answer these, Dan. Thanks.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 10, 2007 5:33 PM

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