Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pan Handling Competition is Running Hot in Minneapolis




Becoming unemployed means considering all of one's options, like taking up a position as a Public Fund Requisitioning Agent (bum). It's a tough business here in Minneapolis and considering I will be out of a job in two weeks, I think I need to get my game, beard and hangdog look in shape if I plan to continue to provide for the citizens of Mt. Holly while on the streets.

Yesterday, I saw a guy on the street in full clown gear blowing bubbles while holding up a sign saying "The circus laid me off." It brings me back to one of my favorite ad campaigns from the past few years.

Frequent Mt. Holly tourist, Todd Norem (noremipsum.com) (ed 5/4/09 - and his partner Liz Otremba LinkedIn) created these media appropriate and proven effective outdoor boards for his client Ed who reported at least a 800% increase in gross income on days his media ran.

Brother, can you spare a headline?

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a hand up not a hand out - have hime wash your windows, mow your lawn, trim the hedges anything to give him a sense of purpose and utility.

Then again - sitting around, getting free money may be easier.

Anonymous said...

That's the Macy's corner on Nicollet right? I might actually donate to that guy instead of my usual ignoring or pointing to the Salvation Army/Sharing and Caring hands down the road. Nice job man.

MayorMike said...

Don't thank me, Thank Todd. He's the guy who did them. I'm just a huge fan.

Sean Craven said...

Reminds me of the time I was walking by a guy who was using a sign to panhandle cars in the street. As I passed, he turned and said, "Genuine homeless sign, just five bucks."

I should have bought it.

MayorMike said...

Hahahah! That's genius.

There's another fellow who swings through MPLS selling lucky pennies for a buck a pop!

Anonymous said...

Honesty is my favorite approach... I always give money to the guy with the "Need $5 to get loaded" sign.

Blake Himsl Hunter said...

I guy once asked me for a couple of dollars so he could buy some booze and a gun....I gave him $5 because he had a plan!

Anonymous said...

I used to give to this guy for a while. Then I saw him open a new pack of smokes. The end.

Chris Stewart said...

Saw one sign once that said "Blame me for all your troubles, one dollar". I figure each person in the city owes him a buck.

Anonymous said...

There was a homeless dude in ATL that i met when trying to walk around the city.

He told us of all the cool places to go, and where to not get murdered.

I asked him if he needed anything at the end of our conversation. he said a pack of smokes and some booze. I gave him 20 bucks.

he was nice, and approached us out of genuine help to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Either things are slow in your town or you're the new CMYK, rerunning articles years after they were originally submitted.

http://fromthedeskofthemayor.blogspot.com/2006/08/perfect-campaign.html

Anonymous said...

"Spare change for penis enlargement, I'm a little short"

Deejayneko said...

I used to give here in Minneapolis, but then I found out that a chunk of the local homeless actually make more a year than I do... yeah. Buy them sammiches instead.

Anonymous said...

In merry ol' London Eng, I crossed the Thames heading toward Big Ben and passed a £20 note to two pan-handling punks. The short one held up a sign next to his rather tall mate that said "$5.00 for photo with world's tallest Punk."

Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Once I was driving home after visiting my parents for the Thanksgiving holiday and I stoped for gas at a rest stop. Someone came up and gave me the line about his fan belt being broken and he wanted to borrow $19.95 for a new one.

I suppose he could have been telling the truth but I figured no one who doesn't need money asks for it, so I knew he needed help.

Whenever I go to the mall and go to those expensive department stores that sell overpriced crap I get ripped off by some faceless corporation. For once I was happy to get ripped off face to face by a real human being. When I drove off after given him $20 I wished I had given him more for gas and breakfast too.

Anonymous said...

There's a guy in B-more that rocks one that says "Bet you a dollar you read this sign" He does alright.

Anonymous said...

"How about a hand up not a hand out"


Oh you sanctimonious twat! Leave the conservative rhetoric for the pages of the Heritage Foundation. This is an amusing look at the reality that life in free-market America isn't always an easy ride.

Lighten up, and give teh next bum you see a quarter. It doesn't hurt anybody.

Jackson- said...

"This is an amusing look at the reality that life in free-market America isn't always an easy ride."

Its an easy ride for this guy - Im sure he's banking enough from schmuks like you that rather give away money to 'feel good' a problem (probably from his own misgivings) vs rehabilitate so the next schmuck isnt pittied into the same.

Im sure you've never seen poverty (I mean real poverty) in a not-so-free markets around the world to know 'reality'.

Kearn said...

Yep, corner of 8th and Nicollet - that guy has been sitting in that exact spot for as long as I've worked in down town, at least the last 3 years now. Not exactly the most ambitious gentleman. Guess he must do okay pan handling between the US Bank headquarters, the IDS, and the Macys offices.

I've actually had a bum who was new to the trade ask me for directions to Nicollet. He had come down from Duluth to beg on Nicollet because he had heard from others how much money you can make begging there.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Guernican said...

"How about a hand up not a hand out"

There's a special corner for people like you in the afterlife. It's called "The Hell of Sanctimonious Pricks".

Nolan said...

Jackson - I'm guessing you (and the other idiots who suggest that begging is fun) have never actually been homeless. Living on the street is HARD, man. Really hard. You have no idea what you are talking about - if you did you would not even dream of saying this stuff.

Anonymous said...

this article was to make people laugh. get over yourself nolan. are we really supposed to believe that you were homeless and you overcame and now have internet and are blogging.... dumb

sourcerror said...

"this article was to make people laugh. get over yourself nolan. are we really supposed to believe that you were homeless and you overcame and now have internet and are blogging.... dumb"

If they have no hope to get of this situation then what's so funny about it?

formerlyAnonymous said...

thats not the point of the article. appreciate it for what it is and dont get all sappy with me. these guys are in the worst of positions and still have a sense of humor. make the best of what you have. wait, i know what we should do. we should read an article and then get all bent out of shape about it. actually lets just get upset about everything there is to be upset about, thats not being uptight.

Gypsy said...

I generally don't give because I cant afford it and tend to be socially Darwinistic, but really take a close look at your average panhandler. Who would hire them? Most of them I wouldn't trust with a tricycle & a plastic spoon let alone a job at my company... Many of them have mental health issues & a lot are what should have been retirees except for bad career choices, not that we geeks could understand that after the dot com crash

Mallory said...

Anonymous: Would YOU hire a bum to wash your windows?

People would rather just throw change than go the extra mile in help.

Anonymous said...

Everyones situation is different, but we have a bunch of "will work for food" guys here. I've offered them legitimate work and been told some very rude things. And I've seen one guy leave his corner at 5 and get into an Escalade that apeared to be his.(He had the keys and drove off in it) Not all panhandlers are homeless, or even close to it.

I do give a bit to the ones that really seem homeless.

Anonymous said...

Great signs, and good comments. But, know that you may not be helping anyone in need by giving money to that "homeless" person. Better to give it to a soup kitchen, if you really want to help. See http://www.komonews.com/news/local/15157611.html and the (long but) particularly interesting http://www.neatorama.com/2008/04/27/50-an-hour-professional-panhandler/

Anonymous said...

A guys down the street from my office has a sign that reads - "Bet you can't hit me with a quarter!"
Probably not the safest idea, but people seriously throw change at him constantly.

Anonymous said...

Saw a guy in San Francisco a few years ago with a sign asking for $1 for gas so he could burn down his garage for the insurance. He did pretty well - he had a plan, and people were amused.

grizzly said...

not funny

Vicky said...

I thought of one... "Take a Penny, Leave a Dollar." My panhandler friend tried it... it worked!

Anonymous said...

I never give loser beggars anything but contempt. Imagine lowering yourself to such a degree. Idiots that give them money are weak and guilt ridden. About what? Who knows.

π said...

MayorMike - this is a truly great idea. Creativity and community so rarely meet up like this.

Glad to see the admin is deleting the hater comments.

proverbs rocks said...

If you do not have compassion for the needy consider this, 1.God looks at your heart 2.We do not have to judge others 3.Let Him be the judge of the homeless person's motives

Proverbs 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward him for what he has done. NIV

mellojoe said...

a guy in NYC asked me for a dollar for the 'United Negro Needs a Pizza Fund.' it made my day, and he got a dollar from 4 people for that.

Anonymous said...

In Denver we had a guy with a sign that said, "UFO broke down, need cash for parts". It cracked me up. I gave him $5 just for the laugh.

Norem Ipsum said...

Ed's a really good guy. A series of bad events led to him being homeless. And once you're homeless and don't have a credit score and employment and housing references, it's not easy to climb back up.

My partner and art director on this campaign was Liz Otremba.

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SeeChao said...

Best sign I've seen was used by a friend of mine while he was a homeless bum. "Spare change for steel wool, so I can build an army of killer robotic sheep and take over the world" Worked remarkably well.

steve said...

I have a blog, internet a new car a 718 credit score and I've also been homeless(while working a 40 hour a week job!!). And until the last 3 years never made over 14k a year..and I served 5 years in prison (1999 thru Nov. 2004). You can't tell by who people are now who they have been. When I was homeless I got to know a lot of others who were also "down & out". The best panhandler I knew used the line," got a quarter? need a quarter?". He passed out about 1 quarter for every 10 he took in. He also made people smile, even laugh sometimes. Doesn't mood elevation or making someone else thankful for their position in life have some value?

Anonymous said...

"Family kidnapped by ninjas. Need money for Karate lessons."

momo said...

Deep down we all know that we are one injury or layoff away from being in this situation, and some people deal with fear by blaming others rather than recognizing our common need for shelter and compassion. I hope the folks who express themselves with sanctimonious hostility never find themselves without shelter or food, and I'll continue to share my good fortune in whatever way I see fit.

Anonymous said...

Look folks I know this guy, and while he may do a bit of scamming here and there, he is certainly NOT making more than you ($20/day max). And he's disabled, so please quit with the self-righteousness.

Anonymous said...

I never knew panhandling was such a big business in Minneapolis. Of course I've never been there. I work at a drug rehab in Oklahoma and we barely see any people doing that here.

Impotence said...

Hello Funny picture and Interesting hand up not a hand out

Soft Cialis said...

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morat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Interesting thread of comments. I've been looking at these and others re panhandling for several weeks now, because I'm out of work and down to 2 weeks before eviction so gotta do something to keep from being homeless.

Thanks for great ideas. I'll bite.
Texan at end of my rope.

Extenze said...

I might actually donate to that guy instead of my usual ignoring or pointing to the Salvation Army/Sharing and Caring hands down the road. Nice job man.