I was walking across a busy intersection today and a six-foot-two Hagrid lookalike lumbered ahead of me. I was in a hurry, but couldn’t seem to get around him.
Every time I shifted right, so did he, or left, same thing. It was a little like trying to pass an 18-wheeler that keeps changing lanes on the highway.
Finally, we made it over to the other side of the street and, at the curb, he turned toward me. He was wearing a sleeveless hoodie with the hood pulled up over his thick black thatch of hair, which only accentuated his Hagridness (Hagridosity?). He said, “Excuse me, can I ask you a rather unusual question?”
I didn’t want to point out that he just had. Then I thought, oh no, please don’t ask me directions, I am terrible at giving directions.
“Can you possibly spare even two cents?” he asked, to my complete surprise. “That is, unless I have asked you already, of course.”
He was so articulate and polite, I was dumbstruck for a second. Yesterday, I’d seen a homeless man so drunk or addled that he needed to hold up a sign to ask for money … now this … Professor Panhandler.
I gave him what I could and went on my way. But it certainly made me curious. He didn’t look particularly shabby. He was stone cold sober and appeared to have all his faculties.
But he clearly needed the money. For the bus, maybe? A new ascot?
Guess you can’t judge a Hagrid by his hoodie ….
P.S. This is a video from Rising Star Outreach, a charity I’ve featured a couple of times on GDAD. Based in India, they build schools, provide shelter, dental and other care for children and adults affected by leprosy. The song is a beautiful one, as are the smiles on all the faces. Enjoy!