“Flower man” panhandler goes to jail

The Commercial Appeal has reported that Derrick Linwood, 51, was arrested Monday for allegedly peddling flowers near Beale Street.  He was standing in a valet lane at Second and Beale (I guess that would be Itta Bena’s valet lane) and according to the police report, he was forcing people to take flowers.  He was charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing a highway or passageway, and public intoxication.

“Flower man” is a common scam among the panhandlers in the spring and summer.  Some will hit dumpsters as florists empty their stock for the day.  Others will hit church dumpsters to dive for funeral arrangement flowers.  Most pick flowers out of public beds in the Downtown area.  They will then walk the streets, targeting couples especially, aggressively pressuring males to buy a “flower for the lady.”  Often this will lead to a “donation,” more out of fear for safety than because the flowers are actually worth any money.

Mr. Linwood, according to the article, has been arrested 88 times since 1982.  Maybe “three strikes” is a bit too much for these minor quality-of-life violations, but it seems like there at least ought to be a “ten strikes” rule.

Off to work… will be out somewhere tonight.  Remember, today is NOT the last day of Tube Top Month; it has been extended to July 5.  So let’s see those tube tops this holiday weekend!