A blog that I enjoy is called “Evolving Times,” and recently the writer described the situation of being “spare-changed,” on the street.
People in my parents generation used the word “beggers” to describe people who beg on the street. Or sometimes “moochers,” “panhandlers,” or “bums.” Of course, in tiny Henrietta, Texas, where I grew up, the town was too small to have an official panhandler, so the town drunk filled in part time.
Friends of mine as I grew up didn’t seem to like the word “Begger,” though it would seem to be accurate. And I guess the phrase, “Buddy, can you spare a dime?” from that older time had mutated into “Spare change?” by the hippie period in the 1960’s.
The writer in “Evolving Times” was describing what we’ve all felt in that situation. You’re walking along and you are suddenly asked, “Spare change?” Which as we all know, means “Do you have any spare change, that you could give to me?” (I guess those beggers are either very lazy, or they are astonishingly efficient.)
And then what happened?