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Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?

Posted By Alex Belth On January 12, 2010 @ 9:01 am In Bronx Banter | Comments Disabled

It was brick cold last night when I got off the subway, walked down the stairs to Broadway and then headed up the block to the bus stop. I kept my head down, my nose tucked into my scarf, as the wind cut through me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman with a cup in her hand standing outside of Dunkin Donuts.

Actually, I didn’t register her at all, just the outline of her form as I heard her say, “Can you spare a dollar?”

Walking quickly next to me, an older woman bundled in a winter coat, laughed and said, “The nerve, asking for a dollar.”

I look at her and nodded, not sure I liked where she was going. 

But she continued, “I remember when they used to say, ‘Can you spare some change?’ Now, it’s so specific.”

I said, “Spare a dollar thirty-five and a cup of coffee.”

She laughed and I thought about this classic bit:


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