I live in the South Bronx, one of the poorest demographics in the U.S. We have more people living on welfare, per capita, than any other place in the nation I believe. I *know* this, but it was something I just placed in the back of my head. I never criticized people for taking government handouts, because, hell, my mother was on welfare herself. It's how she was able to raise us all on her own.
But I don't know, the older I get the more indignant I've become over the situation. Nowhere is it more frustrating than at the supermarket, where recently things have been getting way out of hand. It used to be that I would see someone use foodstamps at the grocery store twice maybe three times in a week. But lately, it's been EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to the checkout counter. It's getting to the point where *I'm* the one who gets funny looks now when I pull out cash. Like as if greenbacks are the new foodstamps. And of course, they no longer even use foodstamps anymore. Now it's an actual plastic card with the word "BENEFITS" embossed on the upper right corner. So now these people pretend like as if they have debit cards, and not what it actually is--a handout from the good ol' taxpayers of NYC. In other words, me!
God, I'm sounding like a Republican now. Listen to me go.
But why does this bother me so? Well because these people, for being poor, end up buying two to three shopping carts worth of food. Yikes! How 'bout you save some food for the rest of us poor hungry working stiffs here, huh? For someone who's supposed to be living a meager subsistence on the the government's generosity, some of these people sure do take full advantage of the situation.
At the cashier, this becomes a problem because the girl has to ring up and bag all these items herself, then spend an extra 5 minutes filling out a special form for BENEFITS cards and then waiting for the customer to swipe the card through and enter a code. Meanwhile I'm stuck there with my 6 or 7 items for like 15 minutes, just wanting to go home already. I swear, it happens every single time now. Some hugely obese woman is standing there arguing with the cashier over the sales price for the deluxe, gargantuan box of Fruit Loops. Argh!
The worst, however, is when an able-bodied man pulls out the card. I just want to smack the punk. Go get a job, you lazy bastard. Why the hell am I paying for you to live, and then to add insult to injury I have to wait in line behind you, too? Back when my mother was on welfare, she was never this arrogant with it. It was also with a quiet sense of shame that she pulled out the roll of "color money" as we used to call it. And the cashiers were always so rude to us back then. Not anymore. It's become such a common sight that no one even blinks now when the card comes out.
Nowadays, these people have such attitudes. I heard one woman even have the nerve to be talking to her friend and cursing out "the white man" and this country, meanwhile using taxpayer's money sanctioned by said government to stuff her fat face and those of her illegitimate brats. Nice going there, moms. Show that true patriotic spirit for the mean, bad country that feeds you and allows your family to live.
Gotta love it.
Anyway, let me stop now. Sorry I had to take you down this ugly road, folks. Just wanted to get it off my chest.
I promise to play nicer next time. :-)
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