Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Drugs, Not Hugs

For all the avid readers of this blog, of which there's about three of you, the mini-hiatus is almost over. I've been writing for a new show which we'll premiere soon at the Macbeth in Hoxton. I've taken a break from the grind at close to five in the AM because I wanted to share this thought.

Where the last show had a lot to say on race, the new show focusses somewhat on charity. Now, when I was young and diligent and all my income was disposable (how disposable? I used to shop in G*Star for Christ's Sake), I had a few direct debits open to a couple of charities.

I was a good soul back then, back in the days before penury-induced larceny, and I genuinely cared for the causes that I gave money to.

We all have causes, don't we? I could never understand why people would give money to cat sanctuaries (I am allergic to the insolent little buggers) and as for adopting grandparents, I don't like my own as it is, so why would I be inclined to pay for someone else's?

The homeless were a particular crusade of mine, so I used to give to Crisis. With the homeless you're always told not to give them any money because they'll spend it on drugs. This is true, because if you've ever tried to give a homeless some food, they accept it begrudgingly.

In fact, I recall this one time, I was on my way home from work, I hadn't eaten all day and I was ravenous, so I picked up a well-deserved dirt-burger and chips and trotted home. This plucky homeless comes up to me and is all like, alright brother, how you doing, and thinking that he was someone I'd met before but had forgotten, I humoured him for a bit and engaged in discourse as I tried to remember who the funk he was.

Duly sucked in, he went in for the kill and asked if I had any money to spare. Now, goes the mantra in my head, if you give them money they'll buy drugs so I offered him my dirt-burger, the same dirt-burger that I was really really looking forward to.

At first he refused it, saying that he really wanted the money, but I said I had none and then he looked at the dirt-burger and reluctantly accepted it. He trudged off into the bitter Sheffield night with my dinner in tow and he didn't even say thank-you.

As you can imagine, I had bare chagrin. My good deed for the day was met with indifference and people only do good stuff to make themselves feel better (unless you're Bono, then you do it because you really want to).

So writing this show with a strong charity theme got me thinking. Right now I'm not homeless and save for writing all I really wanna do (and indeed all I do do) is do drugs. I lead a famously leisurely lifestyle and all I want to do is drugs. Drugs make what is a lovely life even lovelier.

That being the case, if I led the shit life of a homeless, all I'd wanna do is do drugs to numb the pain and make life bearable. If someone condescendingly offered me a burger, I'd probably look at it with the same disdain as he gave me that night, and I'd ask them if they had any money for some mephedrone instead.

So next time I see a homeless, instead of offering him some burger, I'll give him a cheeky snifter of whatever happens to be settling in my wallet at that particular moment, 'cos I know I'd appreciate it a darn sight more than something as inconsequential as sustenance.