A common tale of moral cacophony and euphemism on the city streets:
Each day, an owner of a small business decides, “once and for all,” how to respond to the “homeless person” panhandling for “spare change” as she makes her way to work in the morning. Today, she looks the other way and holds more tightly to her purse. Nearby, a building contractor waits impatiently for the traffic light to change as his van is approached by a small and shabby band of “street people” demanding to clean his windshield. He turns his wipers on to signal them away. Sometimes this works. At the next light, a woman carrying an infant swaddled to her torso offers a tube of three roses for a dollar. The driver smiles pleasantly, but does not stop. The businesswoman, now close to work, buys two tubes of roses and does not wait for the change from the five-dollar bill she earnestly presses into the mother's hand.