What the hell is it with Spare Change News? or maybe their vendors? and Bostonians, Cantabrigians? and Somervillains?
For crying out loud in a bucket, as my mother used to say when she was disgusted. Buy the damned rag. Enjoy the unique content. Feel a wee twinge of compassion and humanity.
First for urbanites, if you have any sense of hipness, you’ll want to get every issue. They are rife with poetry and social-action news nobody else has or bothers to cover.
Second, it’s low output, small beer for the reward. The vendors pay 35¢ per copy out of pocket. They sell them for $1 each and keep the 65¢ per. They are working, earning money honestly. Give ’em a break.
There is no shame in honest labor.
I seek out the vendors. In case you are fastidious or a self-righteous type, you can check a vendor’s bona fides without dirtying yourself. They have ID tags they wear on their shirt, blouse, dress or jacket. You’re doing a good thing by buying and nobody’s scamming anybody.
Third, the vendors are to a man and woman sincere and jolly. Have a few words, connect with a human you didn’t know before and be human and humane yourself.
I see folk in Downtown Crossing, Harvard Square and elsewhere scurrying like Esplanade picnickers who have just noticed a rat crawling behind the Fiedler’s head sculpture. Honest to God, Spare Change vendors won’t transfer vermin to you. Instead, you might have the most genuine interaction of the day by buying a copy.