Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Street scene: close encounters of the weird kind

May 22 2009
A run-in with an aggressive drunk and a very unexpected outcome Like most homeless people, I have had many encounters with various sorts of people since I have been on the streets. We're all aware of the potential aggro we can expect, that goes without saying, from our own kind, or from members of the public who think that we choose to live our lives the way we do because it`s an easy option. An easy option? We have probably had encounters of a more pleasant kind as well. The following is an encounter that I did not personally experience but was told to me by a friend who assures me that the story came from a reliable person and is a true account. A homeless guy, J, paused for a moment during one of his regular walkabouts to light a cigarette. As he did so he was approached by an elderly, well-dressed gentleman who was obviously well intoxicated. The gentleman, swaying with liquor, looked at J for a moment, and then enquired, "will you sell me a cigarette?" J replied, "I'll not sell you one, but I will certainly give you one." At this the gentleman became aggressive, and clutching from a wad of banknotes that he was now holding in his hand, shouted, "what's wrong with my f**king money?", and he threw a handful of notes into J's face before stumbling off into the night. J, somewhat astounded by this incident, which had happened so quickly, was delighted when he looked down. On the pavement were three £10 notes and a fiver. I have had a few 'drops' in my time, and some from unexpected sources, but this is one of those occasions that tends to bring to mind the call of the army sentry - "Halt! Who goes there, friend or foe?"