You Have To Have a Hook
by James Glaser
March 9, 2009
So, I'm in Valdosta, Georgia, spending the weekend with Wanda celebrating our first anniversary. The town is nice. Although, we did get a bit scared as we took a couple of wrong turns and drove through what had to be the roughest part of town. How rough was it? It was rough enough that as we were coming up to one intersection crowed with men; Wanda got her bag with her gun in it from the back seat and was getting mentally prepared for whatever might happen. Nothing did happen, except we both got an adrenalin rush.
We planned to go shopping on Sunday afternoon, but found that Valdosta shuts down on Sunday. The mall is open, as is Wal-Mart and Target, but privately owned businesses like furniture stores are closed Sundays. So we spent the day driving around and walking and talking and enjoying each other's company.
Saturday night, as we were driving back to the motel, we saw a guy standing at the exit of Wal-Mart with a gas can and a sign. We figured he ran out of gas and was trying to get money to fill that five gallon can. We didn't help the guy as we were driving by, not coming out of the parking lot where he was standing.
Sunday, we were heading back to the motel, and would you believe it, there was the same guy at Wal-Mart with the same gas can, with a sign looking to get more money. That gas can is his "hook" to get people to give him money. I have seen other guys, at other times, with signs that say, "God Bless."
Let's say you did something bad last night, and this morning you drive by a guy with a God Bless sign. Well, maybe you think here is your chance to make some sort of amends for that wrong you did. That God Bless sign is that guy's hook.
So, not everybody can use the same hook. After a while people get jaded and will no longer fork over money. That is why you don't see young people standing around asking for "Spare Change." Too many people did that for too long, and people don't give away their change any more.
Times haven't gotten really bad yet, and hopefully you are still doing ok, but remember the Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared." You have time right now to start thinking what your hook is going to be. Maybe you can stash away a nice looking folding TV tray that you will be able to set up on the sidewalk to sell pencils or apples. How about buying a squeegee now, so you can offer to clean car windshields at stop lights to pick up spending money.
If you are good at acting and can come up with a real tear jerker of a sob story you can make some good money at the supermarket parking lot. Here is a hint. If you are on the sauce, get some Visine and some breath mints, shave, and have on clean clothes. Also, try to remember who you hit up before, and don't hit up the same people twice. Having polite quiet kids along that look forlorn will be a nice touch, too.
Hopefully, you won't need to ever use your new found hook to earn money. We all want President Obama's recovery plan to work, but you never know what the future holds. So, give your hook some thought, and keep it in the back of your mind. Just in case, think like a Boy Scout and "Be Prepared."
As Wanda and I were driving around down town Valdosta, we parked right by a Ten Commandments monument. At first I thought it was in a park, but as I walked up to it I realized it was on church property. I took a look at it, and it was a different Ten Commandments than the ones in my Bible. In fact none of the ten were worded the same as the ones I grew up with and the ones in the Bible I read. I guess it is like we say the Muslims have different sects, Christians in the United States have different sects, too. All Christians claim to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, but each denomination or sect has its own core beliefs, and in many cases their own Bible.
I guess it was just a surprise for me to see a Christian religious monument that did not depict my Christian religion.
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