Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bum Bag

(Not to be confused with fanny pack.)

Yesterday my dad was helping me pack up some stuff and schlep it to storage to get the house ready to sell and blah blah, zzzzzzzzzz, moving on. Yeah, so we got hungry and since my kitchen cupboard contained an empty box of teddy grahams and a bag of stale marshmallows my dad suggested we open up one of his homeless bags. Turns out he makes these individual baggies, each containing two protein bars, one juice box, a handful of coffee flavored hard candies and a few pounds of quarters. When he sees a homeless person standing with one of those cardboard signs at a red light he grabs one from his glove box and hands it to him. Genius.
So yes, in a way I took a protein bar from a homeless person yesterday. In my defense it was a little chalky. But now I have a Bum Bag in my own glove box, ready to hand out to the next homeless person I see. (I must admit this makes me a little nervous as the last time I gave a perfectly toasted untouched bagel to a homeless person on Haight Street he yelled at me and hucked it at my quickly retreating back, leaving a horseshoe print of cream cheese on my dress. But I suppose I'm willing to give it another shot. From my car.)
And yes, I know Bum Bag might sound a little un-pc, but I like the alliteration and maybe the allusion to fanny packs, if I have to be honest. Anyway, my dad inspired me to make some Bum Bags to store in my car for those times when the red light lasts an eternity and you can only fiddle with your ipod for so long. Lord knows, if I'm having a hard time in this economy, many others are having it so much worse. I hope you're inspired to do the same. While wearing a fanny pack. And matching halo.

30 comments:

I *Heart* You said...

once in new york, i bought an extra hot dog and gave it to homeless man. actually he wouldn't take it from me so i put it on his milk crate. then he picked up the hot dog, threw it and kicked the milk crate. it made me feel awesome.

Brandi said...

i think your dad is awesome! i do things like that quite often, but never thought of keeping something in my car...thanks for the idea :)

Vanessa said...

sometimes my dad gives out coupons for fast food places. I tend to stick to quarters or dollar bills. But a bum bag is a much better idea.
I had a dream last night that you shut down your blog and I was really shocked and upset. Please don't do that.

amy b.s. said...

this is a great idea! i am going to remember to do this as the last time i tried to give a homeless man a sandwich i purchased from the grocery store he was standing near, he told me he wanted money and a bottle of wine and threw my sandwich on the ground. neat. i like to think he is the minority and most people would have liked my sandwich.

Jessie said...

Oh my gosh, my mom does a variation of this too!

If I remember correctly, she also has a huge flat of water bottles that she keeps behind her seat (muy muy importante in AZ).

My company gave us $100 bill along with our gift for Christmas, and they asked us to use it to help someone in need, so I went and bought several HUGE boxes of meal replacement bars and juice boxes from Costco, and now I pass them out as well. :) I honestly think that just $100 worth will last me the whole year, as I've barely made a dent!

Do it to it, people!

MoxieMamaKC said...

That is a great idea! I always feel bad when I don't even have any spare change to give them (debit card is to blame). This is a fantastic idea! Thank you!

Ms. Molly said...

I love this idea. Your dad sounds pretty cool...

kristacooks said...

Where are these mean homeless people!? Who do they think they are?!

anyway, I have always wanted to do a "bum bag" type of thing! Although all that change in there is a little tempting to my college dirty laundry needing to do self!

Susie said...

I like the concept. I once gave a man some cash (to help him get to whatever state his sign said he was going) only to spot him several weeks later outside my work boarding a bus headed a couple of blocks down the road. But still.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! I often give money at the red light, but I think this is a good alternative. I'm going to try it.

arollerskatingjam said...

Your dad? Awesome.

Richie Designs said...

I wanted to tell you that this morning I was thinking about my day's stuff to do and that I look forward to reading your daily story every day.

I'm tired of looking at crap on design sponge - who cares [and I'm a designer]

I want to hear about bagels being thrown, princess parties and life.

so if you didn't know - i think you're amazing

Oh Brother! said...

I know it's scary and hurtful when you try and help a homeless person, only to be met with an alternate universe version of gratitude.

Just try and remember (talking to myself here)... most of these people are homeless for good reason. And most of that has nothing to do with money. The mental problems are so severe, these people literally can't function to provide for themselves... the point, the help is still help regardless of how it is received.

That said, living in Venice, we have our fair share of "Hipster homeless." Those are the people who piss me off. (I think you all know what I mean)

And really lastly, just the other week, I got in a confrontation with a homeless person because he called my wife a "bitch" for "psychically being rude to him."

I told her to knock that off.

Kidding.

Be compassionate. Be careful. You can be both.

Love,

bro

I am Trish Marie said...

My oldest daughter has taken a liking to the homeless man that stands on the corner near our home. Actually we rarely see any homeless people over here in suburbia, so it is a little strange to have a regular... but anyway, she brings him a dollar everyday she goes to gymnastics, since we pass him then. I think I am going to make some Bum Bags to hand out instead.

Now what I want to know is...is it completely wrong if I write "Bum Bag" in sharpie on the bag? Really, it is just too much fun to say.

Me. said...

That's a really nice thought. And as always, you made it a clever and funny story too. Thanks for the funnies. )

Magchunk said...

I bought a bum a sandwich last December. He was sitting right outside the grocery store and so I made a stop at the deli to grab one of those pre-made sandwiches. And I got so stressed out that he wouldn't like it, he'd want ham and not turkey, should I get wheat bread because it's healthier than white bread. Anyway, I bought it and he seemed very grateful and asked me my name (which freaked me out for a minute, but really, what would he do with it?) and said he'd keep me in his prayers. And then I felt bad that I didn't get him a bottle of water too.

Sarah Danielle: Jeune Marie said...

I hear Martha Stewart makes Bum Bags... she puts in cucumber sandwiches with the crust cut off and a small bottle of san pellegrino... ties it all up with a grosgrain ribbon and has a hand calligraphed tag that reads "Bum Bag". Your Dads version is just lame.

LOL :)

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

This is a great idea. I've had mixed reactions from homeless folks when offering things other than money-- many have been appreciative of whatever I can give. I respect a person's dignity in refusing what I offer, but there's no need to throw perfectly good cream cheese.

Petunia said...

What a FAB idea! What a FAB Dad!

The Lil Bee said...

I really like this idea. That's so cute of your dad. And I love alliteration so Bum Bag works for me. I once went into a deli and bought a chicken salad sandwich, an apple, and a large water and gave it to a girl who couldn't have been more than 22. She was standing on a corner crying that she was hungry. When I gave it to her I said, "Here you go. I got you a chicken salad sandwich. Do you like chicken salad?" And she goes, "Well, I guess I have no choice." I felt cool.

Strapless Living said...

amazing. absolutely amazing.

whineoftheweek.blogspot.com said...

Thank God I wasn't trying to ingest anything when I read the '...it was a little chalky' line or I'd surely have choked to death. Horseshoe cream cheese, that's genius, thanks for the visual. A couple of good laughs can really make my day. thank you

Petunia Face said...

Hi all,
I just realized: your comments are kind of like my own personal bum bag. Here I am standing on a corner of a very busy street with my sign, and you all pause, look in my direction, smile and give me something. Thank you. I feel nourished and happy.
xo,
S

Anonymous said...

Your father and brother are intelligent men. So refreshing.

JackeeG4glamorous said...

What a wonderful idea! Your dad is awesome!

Can my Bum Bag include a tiny bottle of tequila or vodka, like the airplane variety? I don't want to have to watch my back or bumper as I haul away.

mamacita said...

Wrap it in a red bandana; then you could post it on a cutesy design blog and proclaim yourself a guerilla caterer.

amber {daisy chain} said...

Love this idea!

Anonymous said...

Do you think it would be stupid to leave some reading material in the bag? i would want it...but not if i couldn't read.

Maggie May said...

in light of the post i just wrote this is tooo coool

Chelsy said...

In my college town I always passed under this bridge to go to a shopping center. There was the same homeless man on a bench near the bridge every time. One time I bought the ultimate american meal: double cheeseburger, fries, and coke from McDonalds :)
Now that I am again a poor college student (atleast its grad student now) I could use a BumBag