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Handling a pan

For years I played Ebenezer Scrooge in the annual KTAR radio production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

I fear that from now on you’re going to think of that as typecasting, because I have to confess, I really don’t like the practice of panhandling.

While I am deeply sympathetic to anyone down on his luck, I continue to wonder how all those people with the handwritten signs on cardboard got to their seemingly assigned locations in the first place and how so many of them can afford cigarettes.

Just last week, I pulled up at a stop light and was the only car at the intersection. The enterprising gentleman with the obligatory sign stood and stared at me as if to intimidate me into a contribution.

One panhandler was even arrested over the weekend for using his wife and child to beg in a supermarket parking lot.

There are numerous charitable organizations who are here to provide help, but every one of those people I’ve interviewed say they don’t give to panhandlers either.

I’m Pat McMahon.