These interesting economic times have produced entrepreneurs and scroungers in a volume I've never seen before. Our neighborhood bottle guy is expressing his frustration over what he feels is a breaching of the unspoken bottle return creed: that anybody new to the neighborhood shouldn't infringe upon his schedule or his territory. He gets no respect anymore.
A couple of days ago a nicely groomed young man knocked on my door. He described his desire to start a salon but before he could get to the part about asking for donations or investments, I explained that I was living on the edge and had nothing to give except prayers and best wishes for his success. At that point, he asked if I had something cool to drink. The only thing in the house was water so he declined. Then he asked if I could share dinner with him. Since my dinner had consisted of a couple of tomatoes and some plums from the apartment garden and from friends, I offered a couple of both. He was underwhelmed but polite and I went to the fridge to get a handful for him to take. When I returned, he had pulled out a cell phone and was talking to someone.
I guess if you're trying to set up a salon or even between jobs you might want to keep a cell phone to be accessible to potential employers or investors. Still, I don't have a cell phone. He accepted my last tomatoes and plums and continued on his way. I hope he'll eat them and needs them.
I'm not cheap and I am sympathetic. But he'd do a lot better further up the hill on Thurman where they're doing well enough to generate a bin of wine bottles and a recycling container full of magazines per house each week on recycling day.