M and I were on a mini break, sans enfants. But there was nothing mini about the monumental nature of a trip alone. We never do it. Ever. This year the stars were aligned, kids were at camp, sitters were game, and we took the plunge.
We plunged all the way to the Jersey Shore. We started our morning by running on the boardwalk. We started a little late, it was a hot day, and by the end of our run we were completely verschvitzed. (Sweaty just doesn’t begin to describe it.)
“Beg for it,” one says, holding a dollar in front of his face.
The homeless man begs for the dollar, says whatever they tell him to, but apparently he’s not doing enough, because they tell him he needs to “work harder for it.”
Before I know it, I’m in the middle of things. I’m ranting and yelling and waving my sweaty arms, telling these three fuckwits that they should either give the man the money or move on, because they certainly can’t dehumanize him.
“Why shouldn’t he have to work?” Asked the snot-nose girl in the trio. “We work for our money. He should too.”
It didn’t look like these kids worked on anything but their tans. M quickly pipes up: “this is a You Tube nightmare waiting to happen.”
This went on for a while. The man was willing to say whatever he needed to and the three kids would not budge. M and I continue our yelling and arm waving.
A big guy approaches us. He asks the homeless man if the kids are bothering him. The guy starts to say no, but unable to shut my pie hole, I scream YES! He tells the kids to get lost or he’ll call the cops.
As he calls them, suddenly cameras and the people that carry them come swooping in. Before I know it one of the cameras is in my face and the Shoreites around us are screaming, OH MY GAWD! ITS JOHN QUINONES!
John Quinones is apparently the host of a show called What Would You Do, a show neither of us had ever heard of but was known to all the very tan people around us. This was a set up. They were all actors.
I hesitated on the post incident interview, mostly because if I know one thing about reality TV it’s that even though Mr. Jon Quinones assured me that I was a hero, on TV I would come across as a mere asshat.
An asshat covered in sweat and clad in running shorts. No, I was not ready for my close up, Mr. Quinones, not at all.