Surreal Panhandle

“Got any change?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t carry money any more these days. Plastic.”

“Buy me a Pepsi?”

“Sure.”

(I buy a soda and hand it to him.)

“Here ya go. Good luck.”

“I wrote this book.”

“Wow.”

[garbled] “…it’s how to live like a millionaire.”

(Hands me paper.)

“That’s my name. White King. There’s my website.”

“Buy my book? Help me feed my family?”

“I don’t have any cash, sorry.”

I think I misunderstood, but I was sure until I checked it out that Mr. King was panhandling, trying to get me to buy a book on being a millionaire. (But, I reasoned, being a millionaire is a different skill than becoming a millionaire. So, in a riches-to-rags possibility, he could have a product there.)

Well, here are the websites this guy points to, and it turns out that he claims to be a millionaire “celibrity” (heh), and he was trying to sell me Volume 1 of his three-volume autobiography “Cuban-American Millionaire Celebrity.”

He’s also written some suspense novels which, hey, have sold better than any of my books on Amazon (though, in fairness to myself, my books were all written and out-of-date before anyone had heard of Amazon.com).

The guy who stopped me may not have been the guy who wrote the book, though he did look a lot like the pictures on those sites. It was hard to tell, since this millionaire celebrity panhandler wasn’t wearing a suit like the guy in the picture. (He was barely wearing a shirt.)

So if a guy claims to run a half-billion dollar institute, how much change do you give him?

Just another day in the city.

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