And so it was that a crew of five of us set out with about 40 fresh and piping hot burritos on last night’s revitalization of the dormant Hollywood Burrito Project ride and we learned that no good deed goes unpunished. We headed up Western Avenue where first I flatted my rear tire after nailing the sharp lip of a deep pothole between Melrose and Santa Monica. After innertubes were swapped and the new one inflated we found our next obstacle in the form of haggard, wild-eyed antagonistic Buddy Ebsen-looking transient bastard who arrived from across the street as we were passing out food to the six or seven homeless encamped at the Big Lots! store on Vine Street a couple blocks south of Sunset.
“What are you doing?” he demanded to know. “Are you bothering these people?” As if he was their guardian or some such shit.
“No,” I told him, “we’re just giving them something to eat.”
“Something to eat?” He inquired sarcastically.
“Yeah, burritos.” I held one out to him. “Would you like one?” He took it from me, but instead of it having any sort of calming effect on him, instead it set him off.
“A burrito?” he said it like I’d just handed him a used tissue. “Is that it?” Taken aback that someone would be so willing to bite the hand that literally feeds them, none of us said anything.
“Really? A burrito? That’s all you’ve got?” He looked at the people laying on the cement against the storefront bundled as best they could against the chill of the night — all of whom were appreciative of what we offered them. “These people probably eat better than all of you and all you give them is a burrito?”
Let me preface the short remainder of the post with the point that it was obvious to me that there would be no winning the argument this idiot was making — and a hypocritical idiot at that given that he accepted the burrito I gave him and when I indignantly asked for it back from the ingrate he refused to give it. Instead with an abject lack of regard of the good — however little — we were doing and the efforts we were making, he insisted that we “sell our bikes” and give the money to the poor.
At some point I finally ramped my own sarcasm and stepped up to thank him for the insulting buzzkill he was providing, and immediately after came a chorus of voices from the people prone before us who clearly did not share his warped point of view and instead thanked and blessed us profusely for our kindness.
Heading away from the jerk I pointed out that we’d be back next Wednesday if he wanted another burrito and to bitch at us some more, then I suggested to the crew that it might be high time to introduce the Knuckle Sandwich Project to the area.