Portland-where beggars are choosers.

Being that I own a bar and restaurant, food and drink are always all around me.  Being that my establishment is in Northwest Portland, homeless people are also all around me.  Though it’s never enough, I have made a pointed effort to offer a meal to those that cross my path who look like they need it.  Sometimes with surprising results.

A few years ago, I was coming back to work in the late evening.  I parked my car in our neighbor’s parking lot as I often do after hours.  There is a large dumpster in this parking lot and I noticed a young man of 20 something standing in it, foraging around.  As I walked past, I stopped and asked him if he had lost something.  He stopped, stood up, and curtly said, “I’m looking for something to eat.”  I nodded and proceeded inside.

But the walk in was long enough to regret my insensitivity.  I went directly into the kitchen and ordered my staff to make me a cheeseburger and fries to go.  I thought that would be a nice gesture towards the guy.  He obviously needed a meal.  Now somewhat excited at the opportunity to give the guy a break, I headed back outside to the dumpster.  He was still there, digging around.  I said, “Hey man, I didn’t mean to piss you off earlier.  I own that establishment right there and I just ordered you some food.  I’ll be back with a cheeseburger for you as soon as it’s done.”

He looked at me with somewhat of a smirk.  Then, in one of the more condescending tones I had heard in a while, said, “I can’t eat that.  I’m a vegan.”

At first I thought he was kidding.  It was obvious he wasn’t as he stood there in the dumpster looking down on me.  I’m usually not at a loss for words, especially when I perceive wrong, but I simply turned around and went back inside, dumbfounded.

I tell this story somewhat frequently because I feel it’s one of the best representations of the attitude of Portland.  Even our would-be beggars feel entitled and aren’t likely to stray from their own “enlightened” principals, which of course are modernly liberal in nature.  The possibility of starvation isn’t even enough to make a vegan take a free cheeseburger from a stranger trying to lend a hand.  Portland is indeed a weird town, and I don’t think it represents the United States very well at all.  And if it ever should, then God help us.

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About Carl Incognito

Conservatives in liberal places are often in the shadows. Conservatives seeking jobs in liberal places depend on them.

Posted on August 9, 2011, in economy, employer responsibilities, homelessness, politics, portland, small business, social responsibilities and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. wait. someone thinksit’s heinous to eat other animals. or maybe allergic to meats? so you blame him for living his conscience or following a strict diet? you could probably offer him just some fries and salad and that would do it. please. i’m no vegan but that was really a strange take on the situation on your part.

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