The pair of us landed in
In fact to be fair to
We were idling through the crowd, avoiding the hustlers and steering away from the buskers and beggars, with one eye on the watch and one hand on the hip pocket. At one point, to avoid some brightly lit, cheaply priced shops we moved towards the kerb though were kept from the road by a wrought iron fence. We shuffled along trying to outflank the cheap pits and while we did so were completely startled when a loud voice bellowed from beside us “Nickel for some white trash?!”
For a moment we had no idea where the voice, increasingly strident, was coming from until we looked into the bin at the side of the road and saw a pair of eyes peering out at us from inside a trash can – built in the style of those found at MacDonalds or other fast food places. Somehow he had gotten in there and had hung a little tile out the front simply titled “white trash”. If a passer-by missed the sign he yelled out instead – lifting the flap to get their attention. I don’t recall if he got a nickel from us but he sure made us laugh.
I hope he made a lot of money. A very self deprecating approach to begging, nicely claiming a pun as a way of life, employing some self mockery at the same time – and touching a raw nerve in US culture that is not always seen in such a humorous light. In southern states reference to white trash can often have a pretty raw edge to it.
We made the flight with time to spare, no one at the airport missed us. And “white trash” still makes me laugh when I think about him. I hope he is OK.