Bum patrol turning Downtown’s panhandlers into night owls

Last night I worked on my newest online store concept until about 10, then went out to Itta Bena for a couple of drinks.  Then I moved on to McGuinness for several more drinks.  About 2 I decided I was hungry, and decided to give Denny’s a shot the second night in a row.

I crossed the intersection at Second and Union… crossed north, then waited on the light to change to cross east.  While waiting, one of the bums who HATES me spotted me from across the street and started cussing me out.  I’ve noticed that this guy has turned into more of a night owl lately, and can be spotted panhandling from Court Square all the way to South Main from about 11 PM on.  Not coincidentally, 11 PM is when the new Downtown safety/anti-panhandling patrol goes off duty.

So anyway, the guy saw me and thought I committed the unforgivable crime of “looking at him.”  (Actually, I was looking at the light, waiting on it to change.)  So he jaywalked cat-a-corner across Union, nearly getting hit by two cars, to get right in my face and cuss me out.  He’s been in a bad mood lately… this is the guy who used to panhandle with his baby mama and months-old baby, until the baby mama got smart and left his ass.

Denny’s was surprisingly good again.  Had scrambled eggs with bits of bacon, sausage, and ham crumbled into them, along with 2 sausage links, 2 strips of bacon, 2 pancakes, and hashbrowns (I can just see my health guru AL shaking her head in disapproval).  This time the place was packed and I assumed I was doomed to a 35-40 minute wait for my food… no, they had it out in only 12 minutes.  I’ve been so impressed with the service that I’ve tipped 50% each of the past two nights.

People-watching was good too.  Looked like mostly the crowd on their way home from Beale Street.  Looked like some had been on the street itself, others in 152 and Alfred’s if I had to guess.  A lot of the girls were drunk and their makeup was running and their tube top dresses were on crooked.

Oh and I discovered that the hotel Denny’s is in has an unsecured wireless network, so I was able to jump on with my cell phone and check my Gmail.  Hmmm maybe I’ll bring my laptop up there and work sometime.

On the way out, I had an encounter with a different bum.  This is the guy who used to charge people to park in metered spaces on Beale (well, that’s a lot of them, but this guy was the worst).  Bum patrol has largely shut him down too, so he has also shifted his activities to late night.  Several times I’ve observed him show up at the corner of Second and Union between 11 and midnight and just stand there – not actively panhandling, and he can’t run parking scams there because there are no metered spaces nearby.  He’s just… there.  Makes me wonder what he’s up to.

On the agenda today:  More work on my next online store… trip to East Memphis to shop for shirts… closing night party at Dan McGuinness tonight.