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Panhandler Panache

July 11, 2011

From this week’s Metropolitan Diary column.

Dear Diary:

My wife, Jayne, and I were walking home from the theater in late May, she on my inside arm (an act of chivalry from the days when a horse might bolt onto the sidewalk). I saw, up ahead, a panhandler gently accosting passers-by, so I subtly switched her to my outside arm so that I might be between her and him.       

As we approached him, he did indeed sidle over to me, but instead of a plea for spare change, he chided me with, “Ladies on the inside, champ.”       

In our town, even the panhandlers know their Emily Post.

Mitchel Bayer

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