Monday, January 28, 2013

It Would Suck To Be a Homeless Person With a Food Allergy

Tonight, after our last childbirth class, we stopped at Arby's for a late, cheap supper.  We'd had a really good night and were joking about lots of things.  I then saw this man, the only other person in the place.  I immediately thought he looked homeless.  It made me sad, then Karen-brain took over.

There's a nurse I work with who once asked the Facebook local world where all the panhandlers in the city stood.  She wanted to make them a bag lunch or something like that. 

I put the nurse thought together with the man sitting across Arby's.  What if you're that homeless person on the street corner?  What if some generous soul brings you a PB & J on whole wheat as a selfless act of giving?  What if you have a severe peanut allergy? 

I mean, it's not like you have the time to write on your cardboard sign, "Will work for food...*only foods accepted are tomato, peanut, onion, and shellfish free.*  This wouldn't work for many reasons.  One, no one reads the whole sign.  I mean seriously, I see "Mother of 3" and I stop reading.   Two, if I happened to be going through the drive-through at Mickey D's and I grab a sack full of extra hamburgers to hand out, I'm not going to read that and tell the woman, "I'm sorry.  You'd be allergic to my donation" and drive off.  If I were her, I'd be so pissed off. 

Although, as the average commuter driving by, this could be the conscious-easing way to get out of giving a handout.  You could be the person saying your food only has those ingredients and you'd hate to send them into anaphylactic shock, so maybe next time.

I just see this is a bad all the way around.  Maybe there's a universal or divine intervention that prevents the homeless from having food allergies.  I haven't ever actually seen a news story about a homeless vet on the corner of Cloverdale and Medical Center Blvd who ate a freebie and ended up in the ED half dead.

Then, we got up to leave.  The man did not have food.  He had a couple of used plastic grocery bags and he looked very unkempt.  I felt bad again.  I'd have offered him something, but I didn't want to kill him.

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