NEW YORK -- A homeless man in midtown Manhattan decided to spend all of his money on alcohol again early Friday morning. The man, who doesn't know his last name but thinks his first name might be Pete, used the $3.38 he collected in donations over the past week to buy a 40 ounce bottle of Big Bear malt liquor. Pete said that he hesitated to liquidate his entire savings on yet another Big Bear as he stood in a corner mart at Lexington and 53rd, almost opting to purchase a bottle of Olde English instead. In the end, however, he stuck with his long-time favorite.
Manhattan residents who donated to Pete over the last week were incensed that he spent the money on alcohol. Some vowed they would never again use Pete to get rid of their annoying, cumbersome spare change.
"I'm really disappointed," said Mark Kingsley, a Wall Street trader who estimates he put as much as 63 cents into Pete's empty sytrofoam coffee cup. "I was hoping he would invest in a penny stock or something. It's time for Pat [sic] to start thinking about his future. Does he want to be homeless forever?"
"How could he be so irresponsible?," bemoaned another selfless giver, Rachel Newhouse, a hedge fund manager who completely exhausted her purse of coins of all denominations when she passed Pete on the street Wednesday afternoon. "I think I even gave him a newly minted 2007 nickel. And this is what he does with it. I'm not making the mistake of giving him any money again, that's for sure."
Other New Yorkers cited this incident as a perfect example of why they refuse to give to the homeless.
"Booze again?," said an incredulous Leopold Beckenbauer, CEO of Beckenbauer Enterprises. "See, that is why I don't give to the homeless. That, and my ravenous, insatiable appetite for money and unyielding refusal to relinquish a single penny for a purpose other than the perpetual accumulation of my own material possessions and aggrandizement of my gargantuan, imminently exploding ego. It's a combination of the two, really."
"I've always said giving to the homeless is a big mistake," said some other anonymous rich white guy as he sent an important e-mail on his Blackberry. "By doing so, you encourage them to stay homeless. If everybody stops giving money to Paul [sic], maybe he will be inspired to clean himself up, work hard, and get a real job to fund his malt liquor addiction. Hey, I pulled myself up by my diamond-studded bootstraps, albeit with a little help from my parents' trust fund."
The latest reports allege that Pete has drank about 3/4 of the Big Bear bottle, which he is keeping in a brown paper bag to foil authorities who might otherwise issue him a summons for drinking in public; apparently, the ploy is working. "I assume it's just a two-liter of Pepsi he has in there," said NYPD Officer Ray Holmes.
Meanwhile, Sam, another one of Manhattan's homeless, is being criticized for a sign he made on a piece of corrugated cardboard which reads "homeless and traveling."
"Unbelievable," responded Brett Truman, an investment banker. "Does he really expect hard-working Americans to fund his exotic trip to the Virgin Islands or wherever he's 'traveling' to? Lousy bum."