Monday, December 10, 2007

Beggars can't be choosers, or can't they?

This time of year my heart strings are little soft... I tend to want to do more for others, or go out of my way to do something nice for someone who is deserving of it. I think I am like most Canadians in this respect.

This weekend, I was up early Sunday morning to provide some sparing duties for a curling team who was in need of a player on short notice. On my way to the game, I surprisingly had enough time make a stop at a Starbucks not too far from the club.

In the early morning hours of a Sunday in downtown Ottawa their isn't much going on, the area is virtually a ghost town. As I approach the doorway to Starbucks there is a homeless man outside the entrance who grunts out: 'Spare some change please'.

Not having a dime on me, and only my Starbucks Cash Card, I reply: 'Sorry, I don't have any change on me'.

As I am about to pull open the door, I think to myself, I could at least get this man a cup of coffee, as the wind was very cold, and he looked as if he hadn't had anything in a while. I stop myself in the middle of the doorway and offer this: 'Would you like a cup a coffee?'

Thinking his answer would be something like a small smile and a nod, I was stunned to hear him say: 'No, I don't drink Starbucks, its too strong.'

If the man wasn't dead serious, I think I would have burst out laughing. He continued: 'I am normally at Tim Horton's down the street, but its closed on weekends so I have to come here where the traffic is.'

Can you believe that? A picky homeless man. I mean, don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their likes and dislikes, but when you have nothing and you are turning down something -- anything -- it seems a bit odd.

However, I have to say, I can relate to the homelesss man in the sense that when I didn't have an acquired taste for coffee, I found my first Starbucks coffee very strong. I tend to like it a lot more now that I have drank several cups of it. I guess, its not for everyone, and its definitely not for the homeless - they seem to like their Tim Horton's coffee much better, so I guess I won't try t0 mess with a good thing anymore.